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National Drug Conference 2011: Panel Discussion

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Panel Discussion: Drugs, Stigma and the Media: Promoting constructive reporting on drugs and the people who use them.

Earlier this year, the Irish Press Ombudsman upheld a complaint against a column in the Irish Independent that described drug users as "vermin" and "feral, worthless scumbags". This panel discussion of journalists - sponsored by Harm Reduction International, the organisation which initiated the complaint, explores the challenges of media reporting on drug use issues, and the need for constructive press coverage that informs sensible public policy and discourse rather than promoting stigmatising stereotypes.


Rick Lines, Harm Reduction International
Maureen Brosnahan, a veteran national reporter with the Canadian Broadcasting Company.
Kitty Holland, The Irish Times
Keelin Shanley, RTE
Erin O'Mara, editor of Black Poppy, a UK-based health and lifestyle magazine produced by and for people who use drugs.


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#1. Posted by Dr Waismann on November 15, 2011

As long as patients the are suffering from opiate dependency will not be granted with modern medicine to have their illness reversed, the failures of the recovery attempts will be always wrongly attached to the patients instead of to the obsolete treatments. Modern medicine CAN reverse withdrawals and cravings. Unless the media will raise the questions on why is this the only field of medicine, that has not improved the level of care for more the 60 years ?
Unless doctors will be able to offer patients effective, safe and humane treatments, the patients will always be criminalized and blamed. It is sad , very sad but I know (after over 17000 patients treated) that the current treatments became almost like a religion and modern medicine is just available for the few and rich.





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