FSDP Representing the Family Voice Worldwide!

carol1Families for Sensible Drug Policy is humbled and proud to share the news of a special recognition and milestone! President and co-founder, Carol Katz Beyer is honored and privileged to have been selected to represent the family voice in the 2019 Global Commission on Drug Policy’s annual report!

(Left: Carol with Tony Trimingham, Founder of Family Drug Support in Australia)

Her testimony about losing two of her beloved sons to fatal overdoses was featured [along with only six other people from around the world] to spotlight the harms inflicted upon our families through prohibition and the War on Drugs.

carolThe scheduling of substances directly impacts families by criminalizing and stigmatizing our loved ones who use drugs, while heavily promoting and profiting off of other legal (but dangerous) drugs like alcohol.

The report was presented on June 26, 2019 in Vienna to coincide with the World Drug Report. The full report is now available for download to readers worldwide, and available in six different languages.

 

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2019 NYC Support.Don’t Punish Global Day of Action

EVENT: 🌎 2019 NYC Support. Don’t Punish Global Day of Action

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Leading Organizations: The NY NGO Committee on Drugs, Harm Reduction Coalition, Treatment Action Center, Drug Policy Alliance, Families for Sensible Drug Policy, StoptheDrugWar, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, and others

Support.Don’t Punish is held around the world every year to coincide with the United Nations’ International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. Last year the campaign was held in over 200 cities, across over 150 countries! The SDP campaign aims to promote drug policy reform, and to change laws and policies which impede access to harm reduction interventions with a prioritization of public health and human rights.

This year we will gather outside United Nations Headquarters and call on UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ newly formed UN System Coordination Task Team for global leadership to address the ongoing global health and human rights crisis among people who use drugs.

The New York event will be held following the launch of UNODC’s World Drug Report. Please JOIN US at Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza, East 47th Street and 1st Avenue, at 1:30pm June 26th, opposite United Nations headquarters. https://lnkd.in/eBNhapw #supportdontpunish

June 8th forum on marijuana regulation in Peekskill, NY

Our amazing panel from Saturday June 8th forum on marijuana regulation in Peekskill. Many thanks to Peekskill City Councilmember Vanessa Agudelo and Peekskill NAACP for organizing it, and my co-panelists attorney Saad Siddiqui, parent Lisa Tane, Black Westchester publisher Damon K. Jones and Nelson Guerrero of Cannabis Cultural Association. A very friendly and receptive audience, one more example of changing the narrative.

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Livestream of the event is available at http://bit.ly/2wJDHoW.

A Conversation About Marijuana Regulation (Pace Univ., June 4)

⏰SAVE THE DATE!


Friends in the NYC area, please join us at Pace University on June 4 for an enlightening and thought-provoking conversation with friends and stakeholders!

We are excited to bring our communities together with a panel of guest experts who invite you to join in the conversation on Marijuana Regulation.

Steve Rabinowitz, FSDP’s Vice President and the former Director of Downstate Field Operations at the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, will be moderating!

#supportthefamilyimprovetheoutcome #publichealth #endstigma

2nd Annual Shifting the Addiction Paradigm: Compassionate Pragmatism

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Friends, please share with your community of addiction professionals! Student discount available!

Join harm reduction pioneer and FSDP board member, Dr. Andrew Tatarsky and other featured guest experts for an enlightening and thought provoking conversation! Learn how you can transform your practice and support our families through the lens of public health and compassion.

We know there is a paradigm shift – long in coming — occurring in today’s addiction field.

And we know what that new wave of thought brings with it: psychotherapeutic values that place each person at the center of change, an agent in their own lives, making their own decisions; a resulting focus on helping a person contemplate their situation rather than cajoling or even coercing them to change; and a belief that their attachments to others, in large part, determine their habits, which in turn leads to looking at the quality of the communities surrounding people dealing with addiction, at where and whether these communities offer opportunities to connect, feel valued, and contribute.

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Come see us at Scandinavia House in NYC to learn about Innovations in Treatment!

Exciting news! FSDP is bringing communities together to empower families, restore health and save lives!

Thanks to the generosity of friends and partners around the world we are making the family voice heard and we want to share the message of harm reduction by spotlighting the work from all of the wonderful organizations whose contributions are vital to our mission.

FSDP Board Member Dr. Andrew Tatarsky will be presenting at Scandinavia House, 58 Park Avenue, New York City on April 12 during an all-day panel discussion hosted by the NY State Psychological Association. The event is titled Addiction Treatment At The Crossroads: Clinical Innovations, and presenters will discuss how the rise in opioid use and introduction of medical marijuana and psychedelics into clinical practice is revolutionizing the addiction treatment field.

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FSDP will have a table, so please come to this event and say hi to our board members! 

To Register, Please click here for the NYSPA Website. Licensed Social Workers and Addiction Professionals will get Continuing Education credits for attending. The event is also co-sponsored by the Concentration in Mental Health and Substance Abuse Counseling at The New School for Social Research

We invite everyone to send us any relevant materials that you would like to share as a resource and we will get the word out and let folks know how they can find you! Please email me; carol@fsdp.org for details and thanks so much for inspiring so many through the lens of public health and compassion. Together, we can make a difference! 

In Solidarity and Health,

Carol, Mary Kay, Andrew, Steve, Rory
Team FSDP

Overdose Prevention Centers: Promoting Health and Harm Reduction

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FSDP is committed to bringing our communities together, empowering families, restoring health and saving lives.  Help us end overdose! We are privileged to co-sponsor this enlightening and transformative event on April 5 at the College of New Jersey. Please visit us at our exhibit table and learn how you can help support families impacted by substance use.

Join us to learn from an expert panel of public health officials, researchers, legal experts, and community leaders on innovations in overdose prevention.

Admission is free, but space is limited — please RSVP to reserve your spot! Press interested in attending should e-mail akachalia@drugpolicy.org.

Facilitated by: Sandy Gibson, PhD, Professor, The College of New Jersey & Roseanne Scotti, Esq., State Director, New Jersey, Drug Policy Alliance

Panelists include:

  • Asw. Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Deputy Speaker, New Jersey Legislature
  • Kassandra Frederique, MSW, State Director, New York, Drug Policy Alliance
  • Rev. Dr. Leslie Robin Harrison, Pastor, Mt. Zion Church, Riverton, NJ
  • Jill Anne LaZare, Esq., Parent advocate & New Jersey resident
  • Russell Maynard, Insite Director, PHS Community Services Society, Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • Devin Reaves, MSW, Certified Recovery Specialist & New Jersey resident
  • Sheila P. Vakharia, PhD, Policy Manager, Office of Academic Engagement, Drug Policy Alliance
  • Jeanette Bowles, DrPH, MSW, Director of Research and Community Engagement, Safehouse, Philadelphia, PA
  • Rachael Evans, MD, Henry J. Austin Health Center, Trenton, NJ

Additional panelists to be announced.

Free networking lunch to follow the event at 1:00, and free parking and CEUs for those who register in advance via Eventbrite.

Co-sponsored by The College of New Jersey (TCNJ), Drug Policy Alliance, Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers, Center for Optimal Living, Families for Sensible Drug Policy, Hyacinth AIDS Foundation, National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence of New Jersey, New Leaders Council – New Jersey, North Jersey Community Research Initiative, Prevention Resource Network, South Jersey AIDS Alliance, and Volunteers of America Delaware Valley.

FSDP Brings Australia’s Family Drug Support Model to the United States

Our families have a vital role in the development and resolution of how substance use impacts their home—for far too long our families have not been afforded the opportunity to engage as active participants and problem-solvers.50556292_2514971128519511_2200632244790362112_o

Last weekend, January 11 to 13, 2019, presented an exciting opportunity for Families for Sensible Drug Policy and the Center for Optimal Living to embrace a new paradigm of support for families impacted by substance use when we welcomed the founder of Australia’s Family Drug Support Tony Trimingham, who led a sold-out weekend workshop training for attendees from across the US in the Family Drug Support model. Family Drug Support USA brings  innovative non-judgmental, peer-led support groups with solutions and strategies that encourage self-empowerment by recognizing each family as unique.

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The workshop was in two parts: On Friday night was “Support The Family Improve The Outcome”, an introduction to the Family Drug Support model providing an in-depth overview including harm reduction tools and coping strategies.Saturday and Sunday was a two-day intensive training, which afforded participants an opportunity to work directly with Tony in an experiential workshop learning specific skills using harm reduction principles and the psychological approach of motivational interviewing to deliver support to those in need.
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This long awaited milestone for FSDP will provide our families with an opportunity to  access much needed community support and connection based on what families need, expect and experience. This model of support helps families better understand and strengthen the connection between ourselves and loved ones who use substances. The peer-led support groups present viable alternatives for families to explore potential solutions and coping strategies.

Our commitment to making the family voice heard will continue on February 24 as we bring communities together to commemorate International FamilyDrug Support Day,  a global event which aims to highlight the need for families impacted by substance use to not only be recognized and heard, but to be supported and encouraged to speak about their concerns and needs in drug policy.

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FSDP Co-founder Carol Katz Beyer Represents the Family Voice at Rutgers University School of Law

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PLEASE SUPPORT OUR FAMILIES!

FSDP was privileged to have co-founder Carol Katz Beyer invited to participate on an international panel of experts at the Rutgers University School of Law on October 31, 2018. Randy Thompson, founder of Help Not Handcuffs hosted the discussion on “Drug Decriminalization: The Triumph of Human Rights and Health over the Drug War”45144582_2393306420685983_7391489221489328128_n

Randy Thompson, founder of Help Not Handcuffs, in conjunction with The Open Society Foundations (OSF), The Rutgers Criminal Law Society and the Rutgers Public Interest Law Student Association, coordinated the event featuring Dr.João Goulão, the Portuguese Drug Czar, Kasia Malinowska, Director of the Global Drug Policy Program at OSF, Tess Borden, Staff Attorney for the ACLU-NJ and Carol Katz Beyer of FSDP as speakers.

What was detailed was nothing short of amazing! Portugal, which decriminalized all drugs has almost non-existent overdose deaths. In Portugal, harm reduction is so well developed that it is significantly reduced overdose deaths and the spread of HIV/AIDS and HepC; and they provide superior treatment on demand for those who want it, at less than 1/10th of the cost to taxpayers compared to the New Jersey system

Kasia engaged Dr. Goulão in a conversation and he brilliantly articulated the history of how the Portugal model came to be. He illustrated that change is possible when the goal is to elevate society through the lens of public health with strategies and solutions rooted in compassion and science.

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Panel, from left: Dr. João Goulão, Kasia Malinowska, Tess Borden, Carol Katz Beyer

Tess detailed the egregious human rights violations that the US policies of prohibition and criminalization are inflicting on families.

Carol eloquently elucidated the issues and harms that our families needlessly suffer as a consequence of the war on drugs as well as recommended public health solutions. Carol said, “I cannot express enough how privileged I felt to be present in the company of Dr. João Goulão who articulated so poignantly what transformative solutions in drug policy reform look like”.

Immense appreciation and thanks go to Randy, who did a tremendous job organizing this important event and skillfully moderating. There was a robust Q and A afterwards as audience members representing Rutgers law students, healthcare professionals, and community members.

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Host/Moderator Help Not Handcuffs founder Randy Thompson

I cannot express enough how privileged I felt to be present in the company of Dr. João Goulão who articulated so poignantly what transformative solutions in drug policy reform look like–FSDP co-founder Carol Katz Beyer.

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Attendees included FSDP co-founder Barry Lessin and FSDP members Anne Earle and Lisa Raphael

Because of your ongoing support, we are bringing our communities together, empowering families, restoring health and saving lives!

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PLEASE SUPPORT OUR FAMILIES!

FSDP at The 12th National Harm Reduction Conference in New Orleans, LA

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Thanks to the generosity and support of our friends and stakeholders Team FSDP attended the 12th National Harm Reduction Conference #harmred18 in New Orleans, LA, October 18-21, representing a growing number of families who are adversely impacted by the unprecedented public health crisis surrounding substance use.

This biennial event brought together some of the most creative minds from the US and abroad to address a myriad of complex issues facing the harm reduction movement. A diverse community of people who use drugs, social justice activists, service providers, healthcare workers, researchers, policymakers, public health officials, and law enforcement gathering together determined to put an end to the harms and injustices caused by the War on Drugs.

FSDP is dedicated to serving the needs of our families and our participation in this conference is a heartfelt expression to honor our loved ones who have been lost to overdose and to save the lives of those who remain at risk.

 

FSDP co-founders Carol Katz Beyer and Barry Lessin were privileged to be invited to join harm reduction pioneer and visionary Patt Denning, Ph.D. on her panel: “Loving Someone Who Loves Drugs and Alcohol.”

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Patt outlined specific strategies for family members and friends based on guiding principles of harm reduction including “there are no rules except the ones you make”, “establish your absolute limits”, affirm your values, “identify what’s most important for you” and “tough love is neither, and it feels bad to all”.

The packed meeting room was inspired by Carol sharing how her lived experience inspired her to advocate for impacted families by creating a space to powerfully speak the truth to the powers that be in the broken treatment-industrial complex.

Barry gave an overview of the work of FSDP and shared how family and friends can become empowered by being open to reality-based harm reduction information and sharing it with peers, planting seeds of hope in their communities.

Our dedicated team was on hand to welcome attendees at our exhibit table continuing the conversation, networking and providing conference attendees with educational materials, tutorials and resources.

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Thank you Juan Fernandez Ochoa for sending us the Support Don’t Punish t-shirts. They were a big hit!

The 2018 Harm Reduction Conference comes at a time when harm reduction, health care, and drug policy reform have entered a dynamic and critical phase. The prescription opioid and heroin overdose epidemic has captured national attention, with renewed focus on transmission of HIV and Hep C among people who use drugs. These trends are reshaping the policy and public health landscapes, making harm reduction more urgent and relevant than ever before.

Because of your ongoing support, we are bringing our communities together, empowering families, restoring health and saving lives!HandDonate