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Penalization & Criminal Record
Young adults often face criminalization due to their drug use, resulting in a prison sentence and criminal record.
There are damaging long-term effects of criminalizing those who use drugs. These include:
• Fewer rights to education
• Lower chances of employment
• Fewer opportunities to seek treatment services
• Prison overcrowding
Skoun works to protect people’s right to treatment as an alternative to prosecution as outlined in articles 127 and 194 in the Lebanese drug law.
People who use drugs often find themselves in conflict with the law and are required to navigate the criminal justice system. Many come from low-income backgrounds and cannot afford legal counsel, making them vulnerable to violations. The results of this are damaging, and can affect communities as a whole. Skoun continuously works to ensure that people who use drugs have a right to legal protection by providing legal aid and consultation.
Human Rights & Policing
As drug use is considered illegal in Lebanon, drug control efforts result in serious human rights abuses such as police brutality and harassment, arbitrary detention, forced urine testing, and denial of essential medicines and basic health services.
Drug policies, and accompanying law enforcement practices, often establish systematic discrimination against people who use drugs.
Rights of people who use drugs have been a major concern for Skoun. Advocating for better policies and procedures aimed at preserving the right to health, justice and safety.
Access to Care
Stigma, discrimination, and fear of arrest leave people who use drugs with substandard or no healthcare. Skoun works to emphasize everyone’s right to health, including people who use drugs.
Any meaningful reform process ought to be developed. In that context, Skoun worked with national stakeholders to legalize Buprenorphine, allowing for broad access to medically assisted treatment for opiate addiction.