What has AIVL done in the Policy Area?
Over the years, AIVL has done a range of work in the Policy area on issues that affect injecting/illicit drug users. The activities in this area include but are not limited to:
- Policy Development – developing AIVL policy statements on issues relevant to injecting/illicit drug users such as hepatitis C, HIV/AIDS, Needle & Syringe Programs, access to drug treatment, drug user’s rights, etc. The program’s policy work also includes developing and reviewing internal policies and procedures to ensure that AIVL operates effectively as an organisation.
- Representation – representing and advocating on behalf of the state and territory drug user organisations and injecting/illicit drug users at the national level on government committees. The program also represents the ‘voice’ of drug users at parliamentary inquiries, strategic review processes and government initiatives such as the recent initiative on retractable needles and syringes.
- National Drug Users Policy Magazine – production of a national policy magazine “Junkmail” which is produced by and for drug users twice a year. Junkmail contains information, views, policy discussions and opinions on issues of relevance to injecting/illicit drug users. Media – monitoring the daily media and when appropriate, developing media releases and responses which present the ‘drug user’s perspective’ on issues in relation to illicit drug use.
- National Projects – participation in national research, training and other projects that have a potential benefit to injecting/illicit drug users and/or the state and territory drug user organisations.
- Conferences, Forums and Events – representing AIVL and policy issues in relation to hepatitis C and user’s rights at national conferences and other events including training workshops and forums. Staff from the program regularly present at major conferences in the hepatitis C and alcohol and other drugs sectors.
- Peer Research – together with the AIVL Education Program, the Policy Program is currently conducting research into psychostimulant use and hepatitis C. In conducting our own research, AIVL aims to increase the amount of research that is identified, developed, conducted and implemented by drug users. The Policy Program is also in the process of developing a set of national ethical guidelines for research involving injecting/illicit drug users.
- Training and Development – together with the AIVL Education Program the Policy Program has been developing and implementing a competency-based training program for AIVL members. Students who complete the program will receive a Certificate IV in Community Services which is recognised throughout the sector. The course includes peer education, policy and politics, resource development, administration skills, communication skills and advocacy.