International Drug Users Day 1st November 2012

Did you know that there is an International Drug Users Day?
Yep that's right, we have a day - November the 1st.
One day a year that people who use drugs can choose to celebrate and commemorate  our lives, loves, challenges and choices. Its a day of celebration mainly- not a day to feel bad.
We have other days to focus on Overdose and HIV/AIDS but this is the one day for us and the good things about us . Unlike other days it's not about our ability to get sick and infect others or overdose and die and cause pain to our loved ones.

International Drug Users Day is one day where it is OK to be a person who uses drugs and to not have to apologise for it.

We already have mountains of guilt and shame projected onto us by those who seek to 'cure' us or 'rescue' us and we don't need any more excuses to feel bad about ourselves.
But we do need International Drug Users Day, our peers, our organisations and a chance to speak our truths and to be involved in the decision making that determines our futures.  Despite the ever mounting evidence to the contrary, people who use illicit drugs are still treated as somehow 'subhuman' and treated as 'other' and therefor stigmatised and discriminated against by the general population. Just as homosexuality used to be classified as a 'disease', drug use is still labelled an illness from which we need to recover.
Or do we?
We are complex individuals and our relationship with drugs is often complex. In an attempt to control us society has labelled us and categorised us as 'sick' or 'genetically predisposed to addicition' or 'deviant' and antisocial.
This is my 'truth'.....I for one do not buy into the disease model or theory. Sure people who suffer from mental health issues may also be self prescribing with substances - half their luck if they found something that works for them. Certainly people who use drugs have the same illnesses, diseases and disorders as the wider community.
But drug use in and of itself is not a 'disease'.

When asked, people who use drugs say they do so for two reasons.
To feel good.
To feel better.

So on International Drug Users Day do not let anyone tell you that you are sick or deviant or in denial.
You know who you are; someone who enjoys illicit drugs. Different drugs than the wider community.

You may not have realised that there is an International Drug Users Day and you may not realise you are not alone; all over the world there are Drug User Organisations, run by users for users.
In Australia you can link in through AIVL on a National Level or through the individual states Drug User Orgs. Internationally you can try google 'drug user organisation and your country or state or try INPUD (International Network of People who use drugs). Or leave me a message and Ill refer you.
Have a great day -


  1. I was not aware of International Drug Users Day. Thank you for bringing this to my attention and for the other good work you are doing. Keep fighting the good fight.

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  3. Excellent i knew about this day but it was great to see someone writing about it and telling others love your blog keep up the great work.harry head.

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