Villa Maraini Foundation has become a new member of the European Commission Expert Group – Civil Society Forum on Drugs 2021-2023. Its membership comprises 45 civil society organisations coming from across Europe and representing a variety of fields of drug policy. Its purpose is to provide a broad platform for a structured dialogue between the Commission and the European civil society which supports drug policy formulation and implementation through practical advice.
We will use this important platform to promote and advocate for the implementation of humanitarian drug policies, that are evidence-based, public health-oriented and respectful of human right and dignity of people who use drugs.
For more info: http://www.civilsocietyforumondrugs.eu/
On 27th May, the founding members of the "Rome Consensus 2.0" Towards a Humanitarian Drug Policy had an online meeting to involve the over 1,000 signatories of the advocacy campaign "Rome Consensus 2.0" to the online event for the World Drug Day on 26th of June. The event will give the floor to 5 civil society representatives from the 5 continents, to discuss on how to decline the principles of the campaign in their countries, especially regarding access to therapy and respect for human rights of people who use drugs.
On April 16th, during the 64th Commission on Narcotic Drugs held at UNODC, Villa Maraini Foundation and IFRC hosted the online side event: "Moving beyond the divisions in order to develop humanitarian drug policies: the role of the Rome Consensus 2.0 initiative”. The side event was organized in cooperation with all the Rome Consensus 2.0 co-founders and the support of UNODC and the Permanent Representative of Italy to the UN in Vienna. 388 people from all over the world registered at the event, including RC/RC volunteers, UN agencies, Government bodies, CSOs, universities, law enforcement experts. During the event all agreed that the primary objective of humanitarian drug policy is to save lives, alleviate suffering, and maintain human dignity by fighting criminalization and stigmatization of people with substance use disorders. An essential step to achieve it, is to overcome the false dichotomies between harm reduction, prevention, treatment and recovery.
Ms. Judy Twala, representative of the Kenya National Authority on Drug Abuse NACADA, visited the centre for drug abuse treatment opened by the Kenya Red Cross in Lamu, on the model of Villa Maraini centre, founded by Massimo Barra in 1976.
“We are proud of having supported and facilitated the dialogue and collaboration between Kenyan government authorities and Kenya Red Cross on such a sensitive topic as drug addiction, since this is in line with the Rome Consensus Declaration on humanitarian drug policy that we are promoting worldwide”, stressed Massimo Barra.
On 21st of January 2021, the Webinar “Addressing specific needs of people living with HIV, Tuberculosis, Hepatitis and drug users in COVID-19 context” was organized by ERNA –“European Network on HIV/AIDS, TB and Hepatitis C” and IFRC - International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. It was attended by 47 participants from 15 countries of Europe and Central Asia.
“We must consider the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to reinforce our capacity in combating substance abuse and infectious diseases such as HIV, HCV, tuberculosis, but also to rethink together our priorities and strategies for the next months and years in order to contribute and improve health conditions of our target groups”, with these words Massimo Barra, President of ERNA, opened the webinar.
"Access to healthcare is a human right that must be respected also for people with substance use disorders. They have the right to receive the needed treatment without being hampered or discriminated."
Massimo Barra stressed this point at the health global meeting of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, held on the 10th December 2020, the Human Rights Day.
Massimo Barra, founder of Villa Maraini, partecipated online as representative of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies at the 3rd intersessional meeting of CND started in Wien on 19th october 2020.
Barra talked about challenges in access to treatment for PWUDs during the COVID-19 pandemic:
“COVID-19 risks to become a ‘perfect excuse’ to justify inaction against people with drug use disorders. Availability of opioid substitution therapy is the 1st step to alleviate human suffering, as we stated in the Rome Consensus 2.0 Declaration. Within this health public warning for Covid-19 governments should also test & treat population for hepatitis C and HIV.
Pandemic crisis should be an opportunity to integrate harm reduction in outreach strategies at all levels."
Sign the Romne Consensus 2.0 clicking on this link:
Villa Maraini, Italian Red Cross National Agency for drug addiction and IFRC Training Centre on Substance abuse, joined the International Awareness Overdose Day on 31st of August promoted by the Penington Institute in Australia, celebrating the intuition of Massimo Barra dated May 1980, when he launched for the first time in the world the idea of making first aid interventions with Naloxone (opioid antagonist drug) by non-medical personnel.
Click here to see the publication on Villa Maraini experience in preventing and treating overdose:
Villa Maraini Foundation, in cooperation with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the Italian Red Cross, has developed an animation video on substance abuse, with the aim to provide correct information and knowledge on this topic and promote the concept of humanitarian drug policy through the Rome Consensus 2.0 initiative.
Click here to see the video: https://youtu.be/m7AoAY_wshU
This is an important step to explain and promote the strategies and approaches on substance abuse prevention, treatment and care that we support and advocate for, encouraging everyone to sign the Rome Consensus document clicking on the link below:
In occasion of the World Drug Day on 26th of June, Villa Maraini Foundation organized an event to offer free testing for COVID-19 and HCV to the clients of its drug treatment services, in cooperation with the Department of Infectious Diseases of Tor Vergata University in Rome. Professor Massimo Andreoni, Director of the Department and one of the main expert on infectious diseases in Italy, attended the event and said :"I believe that Villa Maraini is one of the best example of drug treatment service, which today gives us the opportunity to offer a real public health service, providing testing for COVID-19 and HCV for PWUDs in a non-medical settings".
Massimo Barra, Founder of Villa Maraini, added: "Thanks to the cooperation with Tor Vergata University, we offered more than 140 tests to our clients, facilitating the access to health services for people so called hard-to-reach".
Sign the Rome Consensus at www.romeconsensus.com
Despite the emergency situation caused by the COVID-19 epidemic, Villa Maraini Foundation has managed to ensure continuity of treatment and access to harm reduction services for PWUDs. The work of Villa Maraini Street Unit and the impact of COVID-19 on services and users is explained in an article published on The Global Observer and available at the following link:
Fondazione Villa Maraini
Hello, I would like to check if my application for the Civil society participation in INCB thematic hearing on the Young People and Drugs has been submitted. I've completed the form correctly, is it enough?