Program for reduction of drug related harm

This program includes direct work with drug users and their families on outreach that takes place on the territory of the City of Skopje, as well as in the daily/drop in centers of HOPS located in the areas Kisela Voda, Suto Orizari. The program comprises a wide range of services whose main objective is to provide improved accessibility to health protection and to advance the rights related to human health, as well as to contribute to the process of their social inclusion as full-fledged citizens of the Republic of Macedonia that enjoy their human rights and actively participate in the life of the community. 

Target groups:

Persons who use drugs, persons who are on drug dependence treatment, persons who abstain or strive for abstinence from drug use and their families;

Professionals working in the field of health, social protection and human rights (centers for social work, health institutions and citizens’ associations). 

Program objectives:

•    Improved health status of drug users (DU) and their families;

•    Social inclusion of DU in the society;

•    Promotion and protection of human rights of DU;

•    Strengthened and mobilized community of DU in advocating for their own interests and rights;

•    Increased scope of service users, upgraded existing services and their improved quality.

The objectives of the Services program include several aspects: health and psychological support for DU, social and economic support for DU, legal support for DU and empowerment of the community in advocating and lobbying for their own interests and rights.

HOPS services for drug users

The first needle exchange program in Macedonia was opened 1995, upon the initiative of drug users, and upon recommendation from the research for the heroin epidemics in Macedonia (Grund, Nolimal, Heroin Epidemics in Macedonia, 1995) towards preventing HIV/AIDS among drug injecting people. Since 1997 HOPS has been leading the program for needle exchange. With the start of the program it was foreseen that, in addition to needle exchange, clients had other needs as well (achieving health, social rights, respecting human rights) and the program has been continuously extended with medical, social, legal services, counseling and testing for HIV, various educational sessions for drug users. In 2005 and 2006, HOPS extended its activities by opening two more drop-in centers in Skopje and developed an outreach program on several locations, including suburbs. The three drop-in centers operating on different locations in the center and the areas covered by the outreach program enables HOPS to contact different subgroups of the drug using communities based on ethnicity, age, social-economic and educational status, or based on the drugs they are using etc.