On Tuesday, July 20th 2010, internationally recognized anti-drug experts from every region of the world united to oppose a set of dangerous unproven global strategies recommended in the Vienna Declaration. The declaration is based on three false premises: 1) that the criminalization of illegal drug use fuels the HIV/AIDS epidemic, 2) that criminal justice and health promotion are conflicting approaches to drug policy, and 3) that the major costs of illegal drug use are those generated by the criminal justice system.
This document was released in anticipation of the 18th International AIDS Conference and has been under scrutiny by several non-governmental organizations. Calvina Fay, Executive Director of Drug Free America Foundation says, “There is no ‘reasonable evidence’ that supports the strategies outlined in the Vienna Declaration. Further, we should reject ineffective harm reduction tactics that are not based on scientific evidence while accepting drug use and creating an illusion that drugs can be used safely or responsibly. Such ill-conceived schemes foster the misunderstanding that drug use itself is not harmful and increases addiction.”
Many of the experts who opposed the Vienna Declaration know from research and practical experience that the optimal way to truly beat addiction, prevent the spread of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, and prevent drug-related harm are effective strategies that target drug use and include prevention, education, treatment and law enforcement efforts and do not trade one for the other.
“The best foundation for prevention is policy. We know from experience that a balanced and restrictive drug policy is effective in keeping drug use at low levels. Since drug utilization in itself is an important risk factor for being infected by HIV, it is good AIDS-prevention to preclude illicit drug use. We must always strive to protect young people from getting involved with illegal drugs,” says Sven-Olov Carlsson, International President, World Federation Against Drugs.
To view the full joint statement issued opposing the Vienna Declaration, please visit www.wfad.se. If you would like to conduct an interview with Ms. Fay, Mr. Carlsson and/or other drug policy and prevention experts on this statement, please contact Lana Beck, Director of Communications with Drug Free America Foundation, Inc. at 727-828-0211 or 727-403-7571.
The World Federation Against Drugs (www.wfad.se) is a multilateral community of non-governmental organizations and individuals. Founded in 2009, the aim of WFAD is to work for a drug-free world. Drug Free America Foundation (www.dfaf.org) is a national and international nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting drug use, drug addiction and drug trafficking and to promoting effective sound drug policies, education and prevention. Drug Free America Foundation is a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
For More Info Contact Lana Beck 727-828-0211 or 727-403-7571 after hours
Source: Joint Press Release from www.wfad.se and www.wfad.se July 2010