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Afghanistan Seminar by M├ędecins du Monde's Olivier Maguet

Rising Drug Use and Harms Associated: The Hidden Challenge in Afghanistan, 9th February 2010.


The seminar will take place at Liverpool Cathedral, St James Mount, on 9 February 2010 at 1.30pm, and is provided as part of HIT's annual contract with North West DAATs. The seminar is free of charge for alcohol and drug commissioners, managers, practitioners and service users.


To reserve a place contact HIT: Email stuff@hit.org.uk or call 0844 412 0973.


What is the seminar about?


Afghanistan is the largest worldwide opium producer and is a clear example of the way production and trafficking is connected with political events. The Soviet war in the 80s, civil war and Taliban rule in the 90s, along with the insurgency of the last 10 years, have all taken their toll.


The same factors led to a rapid rise in the prevalence of drug use among Afghan people who were suffering from the consequences of war, violence, external and internal displacement and poverty. The country is now facing a 'drug epidemic',which should be treated as a core issue by national stakeholders and the international community.


Olivier Maguet's presentation will provide some information on drug use in an Afghan setting and explain the strategy being implemented since 2006 by the Médecins du Monde model program located in Kabul.


Olivier Maguet has been involved in the HIV/AIDS and drugs field in France since 1989. He worked from 1995 to 2003 for the main French HIV/AIDS CBO where he started as an outreach worker and became the national manager of the community programmes. He joined Médecins du Monde as a volunteer to design, implement and manage the first Harm Reduction programme in Afghanistan.


The presentation will include some pictures from the field taken by Sandra Calligaro.

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Two recent studies focusing on the supply of drug-taking equipment may be of interest to needle and syringe programme (NSP) providers. The first study concerns the provision of foil to prevent injecting among heroin users in the UK, and the second is about providing smoking kits to prevent crack injecting in Ottawa, Canada. The studies lend weight to current attempts to change the UK law to enable NSP to supply equipment to reduce drug-taking risks.

Distributing foil from needle and syringe programmes (NSPs) to promote transitions from heroin injecting to chasing: an evaluation.

British needle and syringe programmes that piloted the distribution of foil packs for smoking heroin found they were widely used and may have increased attendance and reduced the number of injections.

Smoking heroin is considerably safer than injecting because it reduces the chances of viral transmission and overdose and eliminates injecting site damage.

“I inject less as I have easier access to pipes”: injecting and sharing of crack-smoking materials decline as safer crack-smoking resources are distributed.

Researchers in Ottawa established that after needle exchanges started distributing crack smoking equipment, drug injectors in Ottawa shifted from injecting to smoking the drug and shared their smoking equipment less often.

At the time of the research, the prevalence of HIV among drug injectors in Ottawa was 21%, with hepatitis C at 76%.

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Alcohol Social Marketing Guidelines From The Alcohol Learning Centre

The Alcohol Learning Centre has some very useful guidance for commissioners and providers of alcohol social marketing on its website. The toolkit aims to help social marketers within their own your area. It will also be of interest to commissioners and decision-makers who are responsible for commissioning alcohol services.

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HIT And Dudley PCT Are Working Together To Reduce Alcohol-Related Hospital Admissions

Dudley PCT commissioned HIT to undertake insight work into drinkers in Dudley in order to inform a social marketing campaign. HIT’s partner in this project, Ci Research, did the secondary research to highlight initial segmentation. They then conducted focus groups around the initial segmentation to inform the development of the campaign. Now in the creative stage, the campaign promises to be an innovative response to the problem.

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HIT would like to congratulate Steve Smith and Raise the Bar on their recent 'Speaker of the Year Award'.

HIT is currently working on staff development training with Raise the Bar, who have just announced that Director Steve Smith has been awarded the Academy of Chief Executives 2009 New Speaker of the Year Award, for presentations and workshops delivered over the course of the past year. Based entirely on delegate feedback, this prestigious award recognizes the positive impact that Steve's presentations have had on businesses across the UK.

Steve SmithSteve said "It is fantastic to be recognised by some of the country's principal business leaders, especially in a tough year and it is gratifying to know that the work we have completed together has had a significant impact on their business. During a recession people development can often be overlooked, but this shows that speakers like myself and companies like Raise the Bar can still form a strong part of a business' strategy as we plan for the upturn".

Raise the Bar are one of the UK's leading training and development organizations. Using sport as the inspirational learning model, they have a proven track record of uplifting performance across a wide variety of sectors. Specialists in behavioural and mindset development, and drawing on first-hand experience from world class results in business and sport, Raise the Bar are passionate about engaging and motivating people to change their current way of thinking to enhance their personal and business results.

HIT is proud to be associated with Steve and Raise the Bar and would like to congratulate him on this great achievement.
For more information of Raise the Bar's training programmes, workshops or motivational speakers, visit www.raisethebar.co.uk. Alternatively, contact 0151 426 0110 or info@raisethebar.co.uk. For a regular source of inspiration from Raise the Bar, follow them on twitter at www.twitter.com/raisethebarltd

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