THAILAND / UNODC DRUG HARM REDUCTION

26-Jun-2023 00:03:34
A Thai man reduces the harm caused by using crystal meth thanks to a programme supported by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Thailand. UNIFEED / UNODC
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STORY: THAILAND / UNODC DRUG HARM REDUCTION
TRT: 3:34
SOURCE: UNODC
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 9 MAY 2023, BANGKOK, THAILAND
SHOTLIST
1. Various shots, Ozone sign
2. Various shots, Paan receiving medical treatment at Ozone
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Paan, Beneficiary at Ozone:
“I hope I will die the last person in my family. I don't want to be gone first because the others will be sad.”
4. Various shots, Paan receiving medical treatment at Ozone
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Paan, Client at Ozone:
“I feel like I'm talking with my mothers. I can tell them everything. I feel comfortable to tell all about my story, that I can rely on them. I can believe them.”
6. Wide shot, Paan with medical professional at Ozone
7. Various shots, Ngammee Verapun, Director of Ozone talking to beneficiaries
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Ngammee Verapun, Director of Ozone:
“In Thailand using drugs is illegal and also stigmatized discrimination.”
9. Various shots, Ozone clients sitting
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Ngammee Verapun, Director of Ozone:
“We would like to let our friends know, by doing our work, to make sure that they know they still have choice, they still have options. If they don't have people to talk to them, we are ready to talk to them. If they don't have anywhere to go, they can come to see us.”
11. Various shots, Verapun working
12. SOUNDBITE (English) Ngammee Verapun, Director of Ozone:
“They are beautiful people. We take care of them not because they are less valued than us.”
13. Various shots, Verapun working
14. SOUNDBITE (English) Karen Peters, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime:
“Organizations like Ozone, which is peer-led, community-based, are really important because they help to break down that stigma. They are led by likeminded individuals, so people who had experience in using drugs. They speak to their clients at the same level as the client, they don't speak down to them. They are peers in a sense, and with that they can share information around harm reduction, around safer use practices that really get to the heart of the client. And that's where there's a potential to effect positive and meaningful change.”
15. Close up, condoms
16. Close up, alcohol wipes and needles
17. Various shots, Ozone
STORYLINE
A Thai man reduces the harm caused by using crystal meth thanks to a programme supported by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Thailand.

SOUNDBITE (English) Paan, Beneficiary at Ozone:
“I hope I will die the last person in my family. I don't want to be gone first because the others will be sad.”

Watcharapol Mahaprom, who goes by the name Paan, started using crystal meth when he was 21 years old.

He is now 29 years old and accesses services at a clinic in Bangkok run by the UNODC-supported non-governmental organization, Ozone.

The organization promotes harm-reduction services which focus on their clients’ needs with the aim of preventing the health and social impacts of drug use.

SOUNDBITE (English) Paan, Client at Ozone:
“I feel like I'm talking with my mothers. I can tell them everything. I feel comfortable to tell all about my story, that I can rely on them. I can believe them.”

Ozone offers a variety of services including needle exchanges and testing for HIV as well as PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) which reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex or injecting drugs. It also partners with Dreamlopments, a hepatitis C service provider which offers integrated healthcare free of charge.

SOUNDBITE (English) Ngammee Verapun, Director of Ozone:
“In Thailand using drugs is illegal and also stigmatized discrimination.”

SOUNDBITE (English) Ngammee Verapun, Director of Ozone:
“We would like to let our friends know, by doing our work, to make sure that they know they still have choice, they still have options. If they don't have people to talk to them, we are ready to talk to them. If they don't have anywhere to go, they can come to see us.”

SOUNDBITE (English) Ngammee Verapun, Director of Ozone:
“They are beautiful people. We take care of them not because they are less valued than us.”

Ozone’s activities are supported by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), although a funding shortfall has meant that it has had to close many of its outreach services in other parts of Thailand.

The peer support remains a key element in attracting people to use its services and it is now hoped that the new legislation will lead to less discrimination and will enable others to access similar services through more government health facilities.

SOUNDBITE (English) Karen Peters, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime:
“Organizations like Ozone, which is peer-led, community-based, are really important because they help to break down that stigma. They are led by likeminded individuals, so people who had experience in using drugs. They speak to their clients at the same level as the client, they don't speak down to them. They are peers in a sense, and with that they can share information around harm reduction, around safer use practices that really get to the heart of the client. And that's where there's a potential to effect positive and meaningful change.”

The International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, or World Drug Day, is marked on 26 June every year to strengthen action and cooperation in achieving a world free of drug abuse.

The theme of this year is “People first: stop stigma and discrimination, strengthen prevention.”

The aim of this year’s campaign is to raise awareness about the importance of treating people who use drugs with respect and empathy; providing evidence-based, voluntary services for all; offering alternatives to punishment; prioritizing prevention; and leading with compassion. The campaign also aims to combat stigma and discrimination against people who use drugs by promoting language and attitudes that are respectful and non-judgmental.
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