Seminar on drug policies and action plans

Image: From the left: Karl Johan Johansen, Dagfinn Bjørgen, Vilde Røstad, Geir Småvik.

From the left: Karl Johan Johansen, Dagfinn Bjørgen, Vilde Røstad, Geir Småvik.

KoRus invited to a seminar for municipalities that are about to develop an action plan regarding drug policies.

Dagfinn Bjørgen of KBT contributed with a lecture on how to get the users’ voice in planning processes. He talked about the importance of facilitating involvement, and to consider different user groups and their ability of being heard. He spoke of user groups that aren’t heard in planning processes, and methods for how to involve those that are not members of user organizations.

Geir Småvik, Karl Johan Johansen, Dagfinn Bjørgen and Vilde Røstad from KBT were present, together with county officials and municipal representatives from Steinkjer and Verdal.

 

Complex problems

According to the laws on alcohol, the municipalities are required to have an action plan in regards to alcohol. The Norwegian Directorate of Health recommends a broad plan that sees alcohol and drug policies in conjunction with each other.

Drug abuse is a complex issue. It is imperative that the municipality practice a broad drug policy by looking at licensing systems and prevention in the context of rehabilitation. Research suggests that alcohol and drug abuse should be looked at through the same scope, as early use of alcohol increases the risk of drug use. As such, the plan should be interdisciplinary and cross-administrative, and touch on all sides of the municipality’s work on the topic.

The action plan’s main emphasis is put on preventive methods and reduction in use of alcohol. Alcohol is the most common intoxicant and creates huge challenges like physical and mental health problems, accidents, crime etc.

Image: Geir Småvik and Dagfinn Bjørgen at the seminar
Geir Småvik and Dagfinn Bjørgen at the seminar

 

 

Broadness, overview and involvement

Stein Arve Strand of KoRus what was the goal of the seminar.

“The thought is to at least every four years have a seminar in which we focus on the processes tied to municipalities’ drug related work. We wish to highlight the good measures in process organization and involvement regarding this work. We want the plans to be living and leading work documents for the municipalities after the plan is enacted. That means the plans need to be concrete and measurable, so that they can be evaluated later. This might be part of the challenge in some municipal plans, but we also see that many municipalities create good plans.”

 

Text and photo: Vilde Røstad
Translation: Lasse Barr