In many countries drug users find themselves on the lowest rung of the social ladder. They often suffer harassment or police brutality. They have to undergo forced detoxification, often in dire circumstances, or they are simply locked away, sometimes for years on end.
The stigma attached to drug use also causes social exclusion on a community level, and often families of drug users show little understanding of drug use. So, more often than not, on top of being regarded as useless or even harmful to the community, drug users are also cast out of their families.
All this in combination with the psychological consequences of drug dependency, and sometimes, bad health leaves very little room for self esteem. In almost every society, drug users form an isolated and vulnerable group. As a result, people who use drugs often experience little control over their lives.
Mainline = harm reduction
Mainline knows that things do not have to be this way. For almost 25 years Mainline has worked with substance users. Experience has taught us that a respectful, flexible, and pragmatic approach is the best way to address the problems associated with drug use and drug dependence.
- Mainline tries to raise health standards and standards of living of substance users worldwide. Not only in the interest of drug users, but also to stop the spread of infectious diseases such as hepatitis, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS.
- According to the principles of harm reduction, Mainline wants to strengthen the capacities of our partners in Eastern Europe, Africa and Asia, by offering direct support for the implementation of services, and by helping the development of internal organisational structures.
- Mainline uses a comprehensive approach to help substance users to be more self-sustaining and to raise their self-esteem. We have created a model that offers a continuum of care in which there is attention for prevention, support and care, but also for work and income.
- Mainline seeks to remove the stigma attached to drug addiction. For instance, through the Bridging the Gaps programme. This program involves lobbying, by a broad coalition of partners, on a government and global level.
- Mainline advocates an approach that is based on our universal human rights, championing the right to accessible health care, legal support and a humane existence.
Read more about our international work.