Representatives of the Drug policy network South East Europe visited Montenegro from 28 June to 1 July 2016. The delegation included Denis Dedajić, member of the Board, Milutin Milošević, Executive Director and representatives of two local member organisations Tijana Žegura from Juventas and Saša Mijović from NGO 4 Life.
Purpose of the visit was to present DPNSEE to the Montenegrin society and build strong relationships with the authorities, institutions and services. Aims included establishing contacts and exploring possibilities for cooperation with authorities and various institutions, understanding Montenegrin model of functioning of structures for participation of civil society in decision making and identifying models for improvement, supporting member organisations in their work and contacts with authorities, institutions and services, issue of supporting (young) people on festivals and in clubbing and meetings with NGOs, especially potential new members of the Network.
The delegation held a large number of meetings including authorities and institutions: Minister for Labour and Social Wellfare, National Committee for Drugs, Public Health Institute, Sektor za suzbijanje krijumčarenja droga u Upravi policije (drug abuse prevention department in the Ministry of interior), KPZ Spuž (largest state prison), Special psychiatric hospital Dobrota, Metadonski program održavanja opijatskih zavisnika (methadone centre), Terapijska zajednica Kakaricka gora (therapeutic community), Kamp raseljenih lica sa Kosova na Koniku (Kosovo refugees centre). Besides our member organisations, good and constructive meetings were held with NGOs including Cazas, Preporod and Narcotics Anonymous.
The most positive impression from the visit is that most of the authorities and institution value very high the work of the NGOs and underline that they are the ones who have a direct contact with drug users which is an excellent channel for accessing them. The most challenging is that many actors in the field of drugs are working hard but that there is no efficient system that should coordinate their efforts in an effective way.