The word on the streets (DDN)
This year’s Hit Hot Topics asked, how can we give harm reduction most impact on the frontline?
What the heck are we doing, criminalising people for what they do to themselves?’Nanna Gotfredson is the founder of Gadejuristen, the ‘Street Lawyers’ of Denmark. She brings legal outreach to homeless people and witnesses the ‘constant war on drug users – the constant fight between doves and hawks’. ‘Denmark is a welfare country – but the welfare system is designed for middle class people,’ she told the HIT Hot Topics Conference. With her team, she brought harm reduction, outreach and legal aid services – ‘and hugs, because we also need love’ – to people on the streets. It brought her into confrontation, and then ‘a critical dialogue’, with the police – but it also brought progress. Denmark now has five heroin clinics and has had drug consumption rooms since 2012, all with vein scanners.