On Friday 26 June, hundreds of New Zealanders will come together to stand for supporting, not punishing, people who use drugs. Events being in four major centres (Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin) are being held alongside events in over 100 cities around the globe.
The theme in Aotearoa is ‘Our Shout’. The idea behind this is to support the supporters. The Drug Foundation is sending out ‘supporter’s packs’ including t-shirts, badges, posters and a cake to organisations working in the treatment, law reform and education sectors. Supporters will also participate in the global photo project.
We’re shouting because these are the good guys: the ones who spend every day of their lives giving their support to people who use drugs. It can be a thankless task, so we wanted to show our appreciation by celebrating this work.
New Zealanders have a distinctively Kiwi way of joining in on the campaign this year, with the te reo translation of ‘Support. Don’t Punish.’ being front and centre. ‘Tautāwhihia. Kaua e whiu.’ represents the need to support our indigenous communities to minimise the harms of drug use.
There are lots of ways you can actively support the campaign. The London-based organisers are encouraging supporters to share a photo with people holding up the Support. Don't punish poster. All you need to do is print-off the poster (NZ version below), take the photo then send a copy to firstname.lastname@example.org, and share on Facebook, Twitter, etc, using #supportdontpunish tag.
More ideas for action: www.supportdontpunish.org/take-action
The 26th June is the United Nations’ International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking – a day which has traditionally been used by governments to ‘celebrate’ drug arrests, seizures and even executions. The Support. Don’t Punish “Global Day of Action” aims to change the narrative, and to highlight the need for a better approach.
In April 2016, governments will come together in New York for a major drugs summit – the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on drugs. This is a rare opportunity for high-level, open debate about the world drug problem, and what is (and what is not) working.
In the build-up to this summit, the “Global Day of Action” is a public show of force for better drug policies. A series of high-profile photo and video opportunities, meetings and seminars, concerts and publicity stunts will take place simultaneously around the world. On this day last year, events were held in 100 cities – including street performances, street art, protests, music events, football tournaments, processions, and even a boat show in the Nile!
Survey participants also reported that barriers to accessing services, resources and information were high.
A group of powerful synthetic opioids that were first detected in the country just a year ago may have already been linked to several deaths.
95% of respondents reported positive effects, in a study that looked at both prescription and black market cannabis use.