Drug Treatment Shouldn’t Become A Ghetto, It Should Maximise Opportunities To Recover: Message from the Launch of RUN

RUN was officially launched this week (2nd October 2013) in the European Parliament, Brussels in an event hosted by MEP Marco Scurria.

3rd October 2013

RUN (Recovered User’s Network) was officially launched yesterday (2nd October 2013) in the European Parliament, Brussels in an event hosted by MEP Marco Scurria and attended by people from all over Europe.

The launch of RUN had been organised by its’ founding members of former drug users in a bid to express the need for more long-term services for drug users who want to stop using drugs. Professor Neil McKeganey, explained that previously in the UK, the majority of drug users accessing treatment services were provided with clinical treatment but a lack of support to facilitate their original goals of becoming drugfree. Those with drug addiction require a much broader package of support to enable them to live without a chronic dependence, he continued, to help them rebuild their lives, in areas such as in employment, housing and in terms of strengthening family relationships. Professor McKeganey noted that part of the “problem is that treatment can become a ghetto” of continuing dependence if broader support is not available.

“For the first time, the word “recovery” has been mentioned in the new EU Drugs Strategy (2013-2020)”, explained Justyna Glodowska-Wernet of the European Commission; a move which has been warmly welcomed by therapeutic communities, former users, recovery organisations and members of the EU Civil Society Forum on Drugs.

Roland Simon, of the EMCDDA, highlighted the need to provide broader packages of support, while also highlighting the need for additional research to be carried out in the field of recovery. The EMCDDA itself has been working on a publication with authors from Ghent University, Belgium which will be available in early 2014.

Boro Goic, Chairman of RUN said that now was a good time to launch RUN, a network for former recovered users as there is limited support to help people stop using drugs completely, particularly in some parts of Europe and that such initiatives not only have benefits for the individual, but also for wider society.

RUN is now accepting new members who are either individuals or organisations supporting people in recovery. The aim of RUN will be to advocate on the political level for rights of former drug users and also to help shape policies to better shape services. For more information, please contact run@eurad.net or search for RUN – Recovered Users Network on facebook to find out more.

Presentations from the event:

More information:

Photographs from the event

Photographs from the event at the parliament can be found here

Videos from the event

The first video was shown during the event. The second video is supplementary information.


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