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BRITISH COLUMBIA / YUKON ASSOCIATION OF DRUG WAR SURVIVORS
Is a group of users and former users who work to improve
the lives of people who use illicit drugs through
user-based peer support and education.
Is a grassroots democratic organization of drug users
With a membership comprised of user groups and drug users’ activists, the Association was formed at the Pacific Summit on Drug User Health, held in Vancouver in June 2009. The Summit brought together over 100 active drug users from British Columbia and the Yukon, as well as non-user volunteers and professionals with the goal of the meeting was to unite the sentiments of former and current users. The Association is the realization of that goal.
The Association is to be separated into the same regions that exist already under the B.C. Health Care system: Fraser Health, Vancouver Coastal Health, Interior Health, Northern Health, and Vancouver Island Health Authority, as well as members from the Yukon as a whole.
The Purposes of the Association are:
1. To celebrate the strengths we have as people who use drugs that allows us to survive and resist the war on drugs
2. To realize, deepen and share the love, camaraderie, and wisdom found in drug user support groups
3. To empower people who currently use drugs deemed illegal to survive and to thrive, with their human rights respected and their voices heard
4. To improve the quality of life for people who use illicit drugs by developing and implementing educational programs and training events that ensure learning opportunities about safer drug use and harm reduction
5. To establish an inclusive social justice network for people who use drugs that encourages, supports and welcomes drug users from across British Columbia and connects them with drug user networks access British Columbia, across Canada, and across the world
6. To develop networks and coalitions of informed and empowered people, both users and nonusers, which work to improve the health and social conditions of people who use illicit drugs
7. To promote a better public understanding of the problems and dilemmas facing people who use illegal drugs and thus encourage the development of saner drug policies and laws at local, regional and national levels
8. To ensure that the voices of people who use illicit drugs are strengthened and empowered so that their concerns about social, medical and economic issues can be heard by policy makers, service providers, and the public at large