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Interview with Pavel Kutsev

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♫♫ Interview with Pavel Kutsev ♫♫ ♫♫ of Drop-In Center Ukraine ♫♫ My name is Pavel Kutsev and I represent the small community of drug users or how we say between ourselves, people who live with drug addiction. David: What is harm reduction? I want to keep this phrase long. As it has to be. "Harm reduction from injection drug use." We look pragmatically at the things. We know that drug addiction exists, yes it does. A lot of damage is being done by drug addiction, yes it is. The basic idea about harm reduction is that we understand that the person can change his life only if he wants to. So the three pillars about harm reduction ... The three principles that we are using ... 1) To accept the person who is using drugs the way he is. 2) Provide the services that he needs to decrease risk of his risky behavior. 3) Give him the possibility to return to society. And all three of those principles are strictly voluntary. And based on the person' choice. David: What was the motivation to start the conference that you had earlier this month? Being a client of the substitution treatment program the clients have realized that only they can influence to increase the quality of the program of substitution therapy. Only they can change it and improve it. People who were present at the conference, they are leaders of the informal groups in the regions and they were all facing these similar problems and they have decided to unite into a national association of substitution treatment clients. And that was their general idea: that they can solve problems with common efforts. So the slogan of the conference is the following ... "Being silent is death and keeping active and speaking out is life." And, being inspired by the Vancouver group "Nothing for us without us" We just knock on every door where something is happening about substitution therapy and we come and say that we are representatives of the association of substitution treatment clients and you have to listen to us At the conference we found that there are 15 issues that are vital for the people, but I can name you three The first one: We want to have substitution therapy for people who are lying in the hospital and they want to have substitution therapy there. Second, we want to have substitution therapy by prescription at least once a week. So that the person does not have to go to the substitution therapy site everyday. And third, is to have access to substitution therapy in prisons and jails. Those are three major issues that we are fighting for. People, if you have problems with drugs ... then please read carefully every post that I'm writing here because it is all written from the pure heart and it is all truth. Second, if you are looking for the answer to 'Why do people do drugs?' You will not find the answer here. The thing that I am writing here is my personal vision of the world. From a person who has been doing drugs for more than 30 years. My blog is the mirror of the reality of Ukraine through the eyes of the average drug addict. ♫♫ Read translations of Pavel's blog posts at ♫♫ http://rising.globalvoicesonline.org/projects/dropin-center ♫♫♫♫♫♫♫♫

Video Details

Duration: 4 minutes and 41 seconds
Country: Ukraine
Language: English
Producer: David Sasaki
Director: David Sasaki
Views: 167
Posted by: oso on Oct 28, 2009

Pavel Kutsev is a harm reduction activist in Kiev, Ukraine.

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