Side event: Strengthening Community Support for Recovery

Organized by the International Federation of Non-Governmental Organizations for the Prevention of Drug and Substance Abuse with the support of Indonesia, and the Associacao Reabilitacao de Toxicodependentes de Macau, and the Singapore Anti-Narcotics Association

ARTM: Welcome. On this side event we’ll focus on recovery and social reintegration. Thank you all.

Abdul Karim, Executive Director SANA, Singapore Anti-Narcotics Association TITLE : COMMUNITY CENTRED APPROACH IN SUBSTANCE ABUSE RECOVERY: Thank you for joining. My presentation will focus on SANA’s approach and our guiding principles and how we mobilize community support. Founded in 1972 to focus on drug prevention. Aspiring for a drug-free Singapore through education especially targeted programs to youths, individual case work and support and counseling to work towards abstinence; last few years been active in advocacy, meeting the president many times. Highly subsidized tattoo removal for clients. A total of 3 walk-in centers, accessible and convenient to all clients. For us, recovery means total abstinence. We recognize there are many pathways and it may vary. We need to instill hope that recovery is possible. We look at social and human capital so basic needs are taken care of, like housing and employment and support network. Strengthening family ties, strong pillar for the recovering person. When family can support the client, majority tend to be successful. Local study was undertaking to understand why drug users are able to stop. Individuals ability to deal with the triggers. Those who are successful tend to place themselves in an environment where they’re supported in their recovery. Families in reoc ery program – psychosocial talk, addressing needs for sustainable support. Family support for affected family members. SANAbration activities provide opportunities for clients to bond through leisure. Apart from family, the peer leaders program is important. Peers are those wo achieved significant progress in recovery and are able to motivate others. Peer leaders are credible because they have gone through the same thing, they are role models that change is possible, show other that once they recover they can also give back.

Augusto Nogueira, President of IFNGO, Concurrently President of ARTM, Macau, SAR [TITLE : HOLD ON TO HOPE PROJECT“ A VOCATIONAL TRAINING PROJECT TO SUPPORT THE INTEGRATION IN THE SOCIETY]: ARTM founded in 2000, believe in continuum of care model, harm reduction, NSP program, successful zero new HIV infection among ppl who inject drugs. Working with minorities communities. Hold on to hope project. People who use drugs are vulnerably housed, fewer years of education, unemployment. We are concerned about heroin users who are getting old and it’s more difficult to have a social reintegration. Support of Macau Cultural Bureau and Social Welfare Bureau to support vocational training and internship program, supporting marginalized persons and persons in recovery and treatment. Opportunities for young people to exhibit their art creations. H2H Café, run by former users with supports of residents in recovery. Learning the art of cooking. Receive pocket money in accordance with minimum wage, they can use 50% and remaining 50% given to them when they leave so they can use it to start a new life. In general, providing drug treatment alone without additional support is only limited in results. Vocational training improves job-seeking skills, difficult to get a job with a criminal record – anti-discrimination legislation may be necessary.

Daoming ZHANG, O­ce of National Narcotics Control Commission, China [TITLE : “NEW STRIVE, NEW LIFE – CHINA’S EFFORTS IN SUPPORTING DRUG USERS”]: Very glad to be invited to join. Good opportunity to talk. Hope COVID will go away and never come back. I will walk you through how China support ex- or existing drug users. Centering on humanity, mobilizing all resources from society. Objective is to establish balanced, comprehensive and scientific evidence-based strategy. Drug control law of P.R.C 2008 and Drug rehab ordinance 2011, other complementary regulations like employment support, medication maintenance, medical service management. CBD rehab and recovery program with treatment, rehab, psycho councelling, social security support and vocational assistance. Launched in 2016 with governments across mainland China encouraged to buy services from civil society. Moving forward, governments continue to create regulations, including adopting computerized systems. More than 1 million drug users went through CBD measures, the relapse rate (calculated) has dropped and social security situation improved. Reintegration through vocational support and assistance.

 

Q: Do you have any evidence tattoo removal supports reducing drug-related harm?

Abdul Karim, Executive Director SANA: Program came about because participants said they have a challenge securing jobs when they have tattoos on their faces and hands, and they asked whether it was possible. It’s just about visible tattoos because it’s very expensive. Tattoo removal supports employment and being employed helps them stay away from drugs.

Q: What is China’s approach to prevention?

Daoming ZHANG, O­ce of National Narcotics Control Commission: Prevention should be the first steps, keep drugs away from all of us, particularly youth. Understand their own behavior and mental challenges and learn how to cope with drugs.

Q: You mentioned holding back 50% of wage for residents of the program working in the cafe. What happens to the wage of those don’t “recover” well?

Augusto Nogueira, President of IFNGO, Concurrently President of ARTM: The wage is given to everybody regardless if they finish the 1-year program or not. If they manage to work and have wages, they will still receive it.

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