This week we will be posting a number of quotes from the Harm Reduction International conference in Montréal. This may involve a higher than usual number of quotes.
The conference hashtag to follow is #HR17, don’t forget to also follow HRI on Twitter, FB and Instagram. Regular news updates from the conference are being published by NAM.
Note: Quotes appearing here will be a mix of conference speeches, conversational quotes and quotes from reports featured at the conference. They do not nececerally reflect the opinions of the conference organisers Harm Reduction International.
Decriminalisation is a fundamental policy reform in order to address the harms caused by treating people who use drugs as criminals, and to end the inequality of the law and to stop the aggressive surveillance of individuals and their communities. And when we talk about health care for people who use drugs how is that fully realised when we treat people as criminals first and foremost.
This research found that in 2014, the total estimated national spending on harm reduction in Hungary amounted to just €1.26 million. By contrast, researchers estimated expenditure on punitive drug law enforcement in the same year to be approximately €2 billion, almost 2,000 times the amount spent on harm reduction. If a tiny proportion of this expenditure was redirected to harm reduction this would transform harm reduction programmes in the country and save countless lives.