Information on the Purpose of INDRO e.V.
INDRO e.V. is a non-profit and non-government advocacy organisation for harm reduction and rational drug policies founded in 1991. INDRO operates a low-threshold drop-in center for drug users and patients receiving methadone and other substitution treatments for opiate addiction, runs a consumption and injecting room, conducts research projects, produces a book series and publicizes booklets and other material on drug-related issues. INDRO seeks to put into practice alternatives to irrational, harm producing drug policies (prohibition) and one-sided, abstinence-oriented addiction treatment approaches (abstinence paradigm).
We believe that the core of today’s drug problem is the criminalization of drug users and the prohibition of drugs, rather than either the drugs themselves or any addictive personalities. Consequently, our harm minimisation activities aim at the following:
- The re-individualisation of drug users as individuals who are responsible for determining and organising their own lives;
- the recognition of drug use as a possible life style;
- the granting of human rights and humane living conditions to drug users;
- the pluralisation and diversification of care provisions for drug users based on the notion of acceptance instead of abstinence (we do not reject abstinence-oriented approaches, provided they are available on a voluntary basis);
- the facilitation of free choice of treatment options for drug users;
- the de-criminalization of drug users and the legalisation of drugs.
Since 1991 INDRO has been operating a low-threshold drop-in center* for drug users providing, for example:
legal advice, advice on interstate and international travels, safer use, safer work and first aid counseling, recreational activities, psychosocial counseling, support of self-help user groups, needle and syringe exchange, medical care, provision of food, crisis intervention, assistance with finding GPs or specialised services prescribing methadone and/or buprenorphine, jobs or accommodation, and managing financial problems (e.g. debts, rents).
The leading maxim for providing assistance is the principle of absolute voluntariness. The overall objective is to help reduce the health risks and improve the users’ quality of life in the light of their criminalized living conditions.
After eight years of bureaucratic red tape INDRO had been granted approval for operating a consumption and injecting room (CIR) – INDRO first applied for receiving an operating license in 1993! The injecting room opened on April 10, 2001. For further information click HERE.
On January 1, 1998, INDRO started to operate the “International Coordination and Information Service for Methadone Patients Seeking to Travel Abroad”, now called “The Coordinating and Information Resource Center for International Travel by Patients Receiving Methadone and other Substitution Treatments for Opiate Addiction” (“The Travel Resource Center”)
INDRO representatives participate in federal state and state expert committees,
political working groups, etc.
Honorary members of INDRO are:
Jürgen Heimchen (Parents’ Initiative Wuppertal, Germany), Mrs. Dorothea Klieber (Parents’ Initiative, Markt-Schwaben, Germany) [† 2013], Prof. Dr. Robert G. Newman (York City, USA), Prof. Dr. Dr. em. Georg Weber (University of Münster, Germany)[† 2013] .
*The founders of INDRO started to operate the drop-in center already in 1989 when it was an integrated part of a university research project.