Overview of RUN Meeting in Warsaw on 13th July 2015

Overview of RUN Meeting in Warsaw on 13th July 2015

This meeting was kindly hosted by EURAD's member organisation, Monar (Poland).

RUN meeting ,Warsaw, July 13th, 2015

The study visit of the Recovered Users Network, at Monar's facility in Warsaw on July 13th, 2015, was successful, and it provided a solid platform for constructive discussions, future planning steps and exchange of good practices. The participants of the meeting were representatives of Celebrate Recovery (BiH), San Patrignano (Italy), Restart (Serbia), RIO (Norway), University of Ghent (Belgium), Stijena (Croatia) and our hosts, Monar (Poland). During the visit representatives visited rehab center with dual diagnosis, exchanged good practices and had lunch in the rehab center.

Minutes from the meeting

Boro Goić, chairman of the RUN, launched the meeting with brief presentation about the history of RUN and its vision and mission that includes grass-roots work and exerting impact on drug policies.

One of the presented ideas was that every country in Europe should have national RUN coordinator for members within that country.

Zoran Jelić (Stijena) mentioned that, through the work of EURAD and RUN, the term ''recovery'' gained its political value since it has been mentioned at national-level strategies for drug combat (Croatian example), but also at the international level.

Moreover, Mr. Jelić noted their new program called ''The Last Challenge'', which relates to social reintegration for former prisoners and TC residents.

Kenneth Johansen (RIO ,Norway), and Agnieszka Grzelka (Monar, Poland) stressed the importance of social reintegration as a way to more effectively deal with drug problem.

Another addressed topic was related to necessity of conducting a research as a way to collect substantive evidence for recovery as appropriate and favourable way out for drug-addicts, at the same time not radically opposing harm reduction measures and pro-legalisation lobbies. The aim would be to accept recovery as an option, which in itself accepts other options (such as, harm reduction) as one of the phases in a long-term process of recovery. Any kind of radicalism is not acceptable. Experience shows that it doesn't give results, underlined San Patrignano representative Antonio Boschini.

Boro Goić pointed out that the recovery movement should have representatives on political level. One of possible ways to enhance political impact would be to participate in CND UNGASS preparatory session in Vienna 2016 and in UNGASS meeting later in 2016.

RUN has already created new evidence based definition of drug addiction, that would be passed on for adoption to all RUN members. Also, RUN members should clearly define key guidelines of Recovery movement, that are acceptable to most of the RUN members, so that these can be presented in the political arena.

Restart (Serbia) sees itself as a RUN coordinator for Serbia and perceives itself as the organisation that can highly benefit from the RUN, as well as contribute substantively to the organisation. Boris Štrbac, the president of Restart, underlined the importance of experience, knowledge and networking that gives higher level and value to the recovery movement in Serbia . Restart is able to provide data from Serbia, that is needed for research.

Sanela Pekić, our guest from TC „Kampus“ (BiH), offered to help RUN with internet forum administration. She also highlighted the importance of effective prevention programs, based on lifestyle changes and offering healthy values to young generation.

Kenneth Johansen (RIO, Norway) and Virginie Debaere (University of Ghent, Belgium) placed accent on producing relevant research (both of them are professionally and academically oriented in that direction), and are willing to work in this direction, since research is very important issue to address, considering evidence-based foundation of recovery movement and RUN as it's platform.

Conclusion of the meeting

The main points concerning future development of RUN:

- mapping potential RUN members in Europe

- strengthening existing network of RUN members

- research on recovery and production of official document on recovery in EURAD

- fundraising

- recovery definition

- identifying good practice (grassroots and drug policy level)

- web page

- RUN conference

- RUN administrator/secretary

 

These are only the main points, and project draft will be presented in near future.

 

Minutes prepared by:

 

Darko Čondić

Stijena – Croatia

 

Boro Goić

Run chairman