The Polish Drug Policy Network was established in 2008 as a social initiative with persons with substance use disorders and drug users. In 2014, the Foundation of the Polish Drug Policy Network was also created, which implements the mission and vision of the Network through projects and initiatives. Therapists, doctors, lawyers, employees of the prison service, social workers, educators, representatives of non-governmental organizations and the users of psychoactive substances are involved in the activities of the Network.
The key projects implementing the PDPN mission are focused on educational activities and advocacy for rational drug policy in Poland, addiction prevention, training activities, legal and social counseling, and rehabilitation activities in detention centers. The Foundation also collaborates searching for innovations and exchanging best practices in harm reduction and rational drug policies at municipal, national and international levels.
PDPN is a member of various bodies associated with the international drug policy reform movement. One of them is the European Union’s Civil Society Forum on Drugs – a broad platform for dialogue between the European Commission and European expert organizations. We are also members of the Eurasian Harm Reduction Network – a regional network of harm reduction programs and their allies from 29 countries in the region of Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia (CEECA) and the International Drug Policy Consortium. PDPN is also a member organization in the Warsaw Social Dialogue Committee for Counteracting Drug Addiction and HIV / AIDS.
Our mission is to initiate and support activities aimed at changing the approach to the drug problem, both in Polish law and the social awareness of the topic. By referring to human rights, we counteract the stigma and discrimination of people who use drugs, people with substance use disorders and those who use it recreationally.
Based on reliable knowledge and scientific research on the risks and potential of the use of psychoactive substances, we promote the latest scientific achievements in the field of addiction therapy and the medical use of these substances.
Our goal is public education driven by factual information based on scientific research about the consequences of psychoactive substances use.
- Poland will join the group of European countries where the use of illegal psychoactive substances is rationally regulated by law and treated as a social problem, without causing the use of criminal and legal repressions.
- Addiction will not only be formally but realistically considered a disease, and as such it will be treated, not punished.
- The answer to drug use in society will be reliable education and prevention based on scientific evidence and the philosophy of harm reduction.
- People with substance use disorder will have access to help and effective treatment, tailored to the needs and expectations of patients.
- Consciousness-altering substances other than alcohol use will be free from narcophobia, myths, prejudices and discrimination.
Agnieszka Sieniawska, Chairperson of the Polish Drug Policy Network since 2011, alumni of the Faculty of Law and Administration at the University of Warsaw. Since 2009 has provided legal aid and been involved in activities aimed at amending drug laws; author of two reports describing the legal situation of drug users in Poland. She was involved in the preparation of the amendment to the Act on Counteracting Drug Addiction that came into force in December 2011. Since 2008 she has coordinated the European Drug Policy Initiative Program, implemented jointly with the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union.
Marek Zygadło, addiction therapist, international harm reduction expert. For many years have been involved in the establishment of the system aimed at helping people with addiction and/or HIV.
In 2010-2011 Chairperson of the Polish Drug Policy Network and one of leading activists and experts of the Polish Drug Policy Network that was delegated to participate in the works of Parliament Committees aimed at the amendment of the Act on Counteracting Drug Addiction.
Jacek Charmast. Works in harm reduction as well as advocates for substitution therapy in Poland. In 2002 initiated the establishment of a harm reduction center in Warsaw, in 2006 opened a hostel for methadone substitution therapy patients and a drop-in center. Author of chapters on dependency treatment in two reports of the Polish Addiction Ombudsman’s Office.
Grzegorz Wodowski. Sociologist and specialist in addiction therapy. Directs the Clinic MONAR in Krakow, leading both harm reduction programs, and activities related to drug treatment. Editor of a drug store MNB. Founding member of the Polish Drug Policy Network. Author of many publications in the field of addiction.
Jerzy Vetulani, psychopharmacologist, Active Member of the Polish Skills Academy, Corresponding Member of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Honorary Member of the Indian Academy of Neuroscience. Author of over 500 scientific publications, including over 200 original research projects. Advocate of drug decriminalization in case of adults and use of marihuana for medical purposes in Poland.
Krzysztof Krajewski, lawyer and sociologist, Head of the Department of Criminology at the Jagiellonian University, lecturer at the Jagiellonian University, member of the EMCDDA Scientific Committee, author of numerous publications comparing criminal law, illicit drugs and drug addiction in Poland to drug laws in other countries, among others, The sense and nonsense of prohibition. In 2009-2011 led the group of experts that prepared the amendment to the Act on Counteracting Drug Addiction that came into force in December 2011.
Ewa Woydyłło, Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D), addiction therapist. Works in the Stefan Batory Foundation, where she coordinates the Regional Program for Counteracting Addictions. For her outstanding achievements was awarded the St. George Medal by the Tygodnik Powszechny in 2002, the Gold Badge „For Achievements in Penitentiary Work” by the Minister of Justice in 2002, and Officer’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta by the President of the Republic of Poland in 2005.
Marek Balicki, MD, psychiatrist, Polish politician, Health Minister in the Cabinets of Leszek Miller and Marek Belka, member of the Polish Sejm (lower chamber of the Polish Parliament) of the I, II and VI Convocations (Cadence), a Senate member of the V Convocation (Cadence). For many years involved in reforms pertaining to Polish drug policy. Advocates for depenalization of possession of small amounts of drugs for personal use (alongside the drug amount reference tables) and legalization of marihuana usage for medical purposes.
Piotr Kładoczny,Doctor of Laws (L.D), Head of the Legal Department of the Faculty of Law and Administration at the University of Warsaw, Associate Professor at the Institute of Criminal Law, lawyer with the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, author of numerous publications on human rights. Member of the Programming Board of the Strategic Litigation Program of the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, of the Scientific Society of Criminal Law as well as of the Polish Section of the International Commission of Jurists.
Piotr Pacewicz, journalist, Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D), one the founders of the Gazeta Wyborcza, vice-chairperson of the Gazeta Wyborcza between 1995-2010. Feminist. Protects human rights of LGBT community representatives, drug users, advocates for the end of the ‘war on drugs’. Awarded Rainbow Laurels (2000), Hyacinth Award in mass media category (2008), the Tolerance Award by the German, French and Polish LGBT organizations (2007). Knight’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta (2011).
Ewa Wanat Polish TV and radio journalist. Since May 2013 editor-in-chief of polish radio RDC. Before that, she was editor-in-chief of TOK FM radio. Under her supervision, TOK FM radio got the “ Radio Station of 2008” award. Ewa Wanat was on the list of 100 most influential people of the year 2011 by “Wprost” magazine. Since 2013 she is a member of Polish Drug Policy Network program committee. She was nominated three times to “ Dariusz Fikus” award in “ media creator” category. Also three times nominated to “Andrzej Wojciechowski” award. Laureate of “Hyacinth 2010” award for “ brave, open-minded and socially sensitive journalism”. A man of the media in Brief Magazine in 2010.