Training on OST and Harm Reduction in Prisons
The 2-day workshop was held on November 14 and 15, 2017, including an informal networking dinner on November 13, 2017. The overall objective of the training was to improve the knowledge of the health and social sector personnel working in prisons to help them implement effective OST programmes in their countries. The trainings included a wider harm reduction agenda and a continuity of care for prisoners who inject drugs (PWID) and are HIV positive or co-infected (HCV, HBV, TB).
The training was designed on the outcomes and conclusions of the international seminar held in Warsaw in March 2017. In order to ensure the continuity of the work from this seminar, the same participants also attended this training seminar.
During the training participants shared their knowledge which was collected and summarized on the following subjects:
- Approaching and implementing harm reduction programmes in prisons and the criminal justice system;
- Understanding and reflecting on the implications of these approaches in order to address public health challenges, in particular prevention, treatment and continuity of care of HIV and co-infections among PWID;
- Applying these approaches (with input from the other participants) to their own daily practise in their home countries.
One of the workshop tracks focused on adapting the general OST guidelines to the Polish prison settings through of peer involvement. This was guided by experts working in: prison service, the National Drug Prevention Office, the National AIDS Centre, and e-learning methodology.
The official programme of the training was supplemented with a Film Festival on the first day. It featured four short movies on the drug issues in prisons and harm reduction: (1) Needle & syringe exchange in Luxembourg prison for men; (2) Harm Reduction intervention in Moldova prison service; (3) Methadone Man & Buprenorphine Babe, episode 1; (4) The Ballad of Two Charlies.
Additionally, Linda Montanari, external expert from EMCDDA, presented an overview of the existing responses to drug problems popular in Europe. She further discussed the availability of the evidence to support specific interventions, as well as ways in which the evidence can be used in practice. Ms. Montanari also discussed approaches implemented in order to further develop knowledge and capacity by means of monitoring research, and sharing of the best practices.