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Putting meth on the agenda in Montreal

Mainline attended the International Harm Reduction Conference in Montreal in full force. Our mission: putting crystal meth on the harm reduction agenda once and for all.

The Mainline stand displayed many of the materials we’ve developed for the Dutch gay scene - in particular for men who use meth in a sexual setting. Chemsex experts Ingrid Bakker en Leon Knoops: “There was limited attention for chemsex and meth at the conference and our research shows that the harm reduction field urgently needs to embrace harm reduction for stimulant users.” Mainlines’ recent report and materials regarding safe injecting ‘in the scene’ were received with interest and can also be found on our website.

Informal session
Mainlines’ Nick Veldwijk facilitated an informal session on crystal meth. The goal was to share the challenges being faced and to learn how to address the worldwide increase of (problematic) meth use in different settings with different key populations.

During this session, people from China, Germany, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Canada, the UK and the US gathered at the Bridging the Gaps information stand. Professionals from the UK shared that health care professionals don’t know how to cope with this – relatively new – user group. This lack of knowledge coupled with a population which is often hard to reach can result in exclusion from health care services. The discussion showed that there is a clear distinction between crystal meth use within and outside of a sexual setting. Many of the topics covered were endorsed by a professional from the United States.

Recognition

All participants agreed that the formation of a network regarding crystal meth is needed to continue exchanging experiences across the globe. A colleague from the United States said: “It is good to see that we are not alone and we are experiencing the same issues. Let’s continue thinking about new effective models to address crystal meth issues which are tailored to the needs of the user.”




Meth Tip:

Mainlines partner in Indonesia – Atma Jaya Catholic University – presented their research on meth use in Indonesia. Together with our partner Karisma in Jakarta, we are piloting one of the few harm reduction programmes targeting meth users. Read more here.

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