On November 24, 2014., the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Return organized a meeting in Tuzla with a goal to initiate the creation of a new Strategy for the prevention of drug abuse and other addictive substances in Tuzla Canton.

Since, at this point, there is no strategy or action plan in Tuzla Canton to deal with the issue of drug addiction, Association Margina has launched an initiative to start the drafting process of such document.

The meeting was attended by: Executive Director of the Association Margina Nataša Dedajić, President of the Association Margina Denis Dedajić, Minister of Health Alan Kamerić, Minister of Internal Affairs Midhat Dobrinjić, Minister of Labour, Social Affairs and Return Meliha Bijedic, Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport Mirsad Kunić, and representative of the Ministry of Justice and Administration. Association Margina invited also dr. Jasmin Softic, director of the Institute for the Prevention of addictions of Zenica Doboj Canton, who presented the work model of their Institute.

The data provided by the Association Margina, which refers to the number of people who inject drugs in the territory covered by the Tuzla Canton, show an increasing trend in the number of injection drug users, especially in rural areas. The age limit at which drug use starts is decreasing, and also the misuse of substitution therapy, which is used in the treatment of opiate addiction, is often encountered.

As an example, we can specify the data that from January 2012, the Drop in Centre of the Association Margina in Tuzla registered 608 injection drug users, and 5743 services provided to this population, and 166 registered sex workers, who received 864 services that are associated with reducing harm from drug use, referral activity and prevention of sexually transmitted infections.

The next step in the continuation of this process will be forming a working body that will work on the development of this, for the Tuzla Canton, very important document, while the final goal in the development of this strategy is the establishment of public health institution which will deal with addiction problems in Tuzla Canton, and thus unburden the Clinic for neuropsychiatry at the University Clinical Center, the only institution which is, at this point, dealing with drug addiction.

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