The Drug Problem in Europe and How do they Handle it?

By Urban Drug Policies Conference, Special for  USDR

From 17 to 19 February 2016, a group of international experts on public health and drug policy will meet in Warsaw for the Second International Urban Drug Policies Conference (UDPC2016) hosted by the Polish Drug Policy Network in partnership with the City of Warsaw, the National Bureau for Drug Prevention and the Open Society Foundations. Held at the Copernicus Science Centre, the conference will convene scientists, doctors, city officials, and representatives of civil society from around Europe to work on the Warsaw Declaration, a document presenting the best urban practices in the area of preventing and treating drug dependence. The final document will then be presented during the 59th Session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, which will begin on 14 March in Vienna, and then during a side event of a Special Session of the United Nations dedicated to drug policy in April at UN headquarters in New York (UNGASS2016).

During UDPC2016, specialists who are among the world’s leaders in acting to reduce the harm associated with the abuse of psychoactive substances will deliver presentations on the contexts and challenges of urban drug policy. Among the speakers are Dr. Kasia Malinowska-Sempruch from the Open Society Foundations,  Professor Gabriele Fischer from Medical University of Vienna, Professor Dr. Heino Stöver from University of Applied Social Sciences Frankfurt, Professor Jerzy Vetulani from Polish Academy of Sciences, Professor Marcin Wojnar from Medical University of Warsaw and Dr. Jean-Paul Grunt from Addiction Research Center,Utrecht. There will also be representatives of cities in Poland and elsewhere in Europe, including mayors of Warsaw, Słupsk, Gdańsk,Lisbon, and localities in Oslo, Zurich, Frankfurt, Prague and Copenhagen. The Polish Commissioner of Human Rights, Dr. Adam Bodnar, and representatives of European institutions – The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) and European Parliament will also  attend.

The first International Urban Drug Policies Conference took place in Prague in 2010. The signatories of the Prague Declaration, created during the meeting, stressed that local and city governments have the greatest direct effect on drug use. In the globalised economy, the significance of local governments in dealing with the negative effects of psychotropic substances and the related negative social phenomena is more important than ever  before.

As the organisers of this year’s UDPC stress, the meeting in Warsaw is intended to continue the actions begun in Prague, building on the political and social transformations of the last five years. “Strategies and action plans in the area of drug policy must be subject to constant evaluation, and must react to the changing drug scene on both the local and the global scale,” said Agnieszka Sieniawska, chairperson of the Polish Drug Policy Network. “What’s happening in cities is a barometer of this change, which is why it’s crucial to organise this type of  meeting.”

For more information on participation in the conference, please use the contact form on the conference website,

Registration is possible up to the end of  January:

SOURCE Urban Drug Policies  Conference

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