All the authors of this book have been working in harm reduction for the past ten years and have observed various developments on the drug scene, but as long as ignorance and fear of the unknown persist, we all will have work to do. In order to understand how deeply rooted prejudice is in society, we can look at statements like "marijuana is a springboard to heroin, and heroin users are incurable and live a maximum of five years" – which are often pronounced publicly by politicians, reported in the media, and expressed by medical doctors, sociologists, teachers, and others.
Once drug users realize that no one but themselves can solve these problems, once we begin to see other people around us facing the same problems, then and only then the problems may be solved. The battle has just started and victory is far away, but the first steps have been taken, and the effort will not be wasted.
The Eurasian Harm Reduction Network (EHRN) is grateful to the Open Society Institute for financial support of this publication.