Today in the show, Joe talks to Maria Carvalho and Helena Valente, founding members of Kosmicare, a drug testing, and harm reduction service at the Portugal Festival, Boom. Joe talks to Maria and Helena on their personal backgrounds, how they got into Boom, research on recreational use, what harm reduction looks like, and what populations are underserved. Drug use is decriminalized in Portugal, and the focus of risk minimization has been useful in getting the population served versus putting people in prison.
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Maria Carmo Carvalho, Kosmicare Manager, Boom Festival, Portugal, is a Lecturer at the Faculty of Education and Psychology at the Catholic University of Portugal. She researches if the field of psychoactive substance use and has completed a MSc and a PhD at the University of Porto on the field of psychoactive substance use, youth and recreational environments. She is Vice-President of ICEERS and Kosmicare Boom Festival manager since 2012.
Helena Valente began working with people that use drugs in 2004, focusing in nightlife settings. Helena has a vast experience in coordinating national and European projects in the drug field. At the moment she is a researcher and PhD. Candidate at the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences of the Porto University and founding member of Kosmicare Association.