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Moore, Joan (2009) From Drugnet Europe. Drugnet Ireland, Issue 31, Autumn 2009, p. 28.

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CLAT 5: Globalisation, harm reduction and human rights
Article by Dagmar Hedrich in Drugnet Europe No. 67, July–September 2009 

Over the last two decades, harm reduction has become a recognised component of a comprehensive approach to drugs. Examining its future and taking stock of achievements was the focus of the 5th Latin conference on harm reduction (CLAT 5),1 held in Oporto from 1–4 July. Organised in association with the EMCDDA, the conference brought together over 600 participants from Europe and the Americas to debate the theme 'Globalisation, harm reduction and human rights'.
Speakers at the event provided critical analyses of the benefits brought by harm reduction interventions to individuals and society to date. While acknowledging progress, they questioned the current consensus that policies and practice be rooted largely in public health concerns and restricted to local micro-interventions aimed at reducing the health risks of drug use. Central to the debate was the need for harm reduction also to address more global concerns such as discrimination, vulnerability and inequality (North–South, East–West), which are often key factors underlying drug problems. It was argued that the risks associated with drug use were often more linked to social, cultural and historical conditions than to the substances themselves. By setting in the context of human rights our current responses to drug production, trafficking, consumption and harm, the debate was given an important new dimension and its horizons were broadened well beyond Europe.
1.  CLAT is the result of collaboration between five countries: Spain, France, Italy, Portugal, Switzerland. www.clat5.org/en/clat5_objective.php
Annual KBS symposium
Article by Linda Montanari and Margareta Nilson in Drugnet Europe No. 67, July–September 2009
Alcohol-related harm, drinking practices and social and institutional responses were among the issues discussed at the 35th annual alcohol epidemiology symposium of the Kettil Bruun Society (KBS), held in Copenhagen from 1–5 June. KBS is an organisation of scientists which promotes social and epidemiological research on alcohol and fosters a comparative understanding of alcohol use and related problems.
Although alcohol is the main focus of the event, space is also allocated to quantitative and qualitative research on other substances, such as tobacco and illicit drugs, including polydrug use. On the latter, the EMCDDA presented European data on polydrug use among clients in treatment, which confirm that alcohol is most often reported as the secondary substance used in combination with other drugs. The EMCDDA stressed the need to consider the health and social consequences of polydrug use when planning policy and interventions and the importance of improving the quality of polydrug use data at European level.
Item Type
Publication Type
International, Open Access, Article
Drug Type
Substances (not alcohol/tobacco)
Issue Title
Issue 31, Autumn 2009
October 2009
Page Range
p. 28
Health Research Board
Issue 31, Autumn 2009
Accession Number
HRB (Available)

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