Jindřich Vobořil, MSc., Pg.Dip.

Jindřich Vobořil, MSc., Pg.Dip.

Mgr. Jindřich Vobořil, Pg.Dip. (born 1966) is one of the leading Czech experts on drug issues, which is evidenced by his nearly 20-year experience with the leadership and development of health care and social services and programmes related to the topic. He has systematically worked from the end of the 1980s on the organisation, development and evaluation of community services, especially in the area of drug prevention, treatment and rehabilitation. From 2000 to 2009 he actively took part in the preparation of the National Anti-Drug Strategy, as well as in projects financed by the European Commission (the Phare LIEN and Partnership, Asia URBs, Access 2000 programmes). Aside from creating strategic documents, he has contributed as an author to expert periodicals and publications.

He has also made good use of his extensive experience in the Czech Republic with the development, management and evaluation of community services and health care agencies on an international level: He has lectured and developed community and social advisories as part of projects in Hungary, Afghanistan, Great Britain, Russia, Bolivia, Columbia, Ecuador and Peru; he has also lectured at a number of universities abroad and at numerous international conferences and workshops. He has worked as a consultant for organisations such as the European Union, the UN and the Open Society Institute.

Before taking the position as national anti-drug coordinator, Jindřich Vobořil served as the chairman and executive director of Sdružení Podané ruce [the Helping Hands Association]; under his leadership it became the second largest non-governmental organisation in the Czech Republic in the area of drugs. Podané ruce currently provides a comprehensive system of services – from primary prevention, therapeutic community, substitution and psychotherapeutic assistance, to work with drug users in prison – in 26 centers across the Czech Republic.

Jindřich Vobořil studied education and youth work at the J. E. Purkyně University in Olomouc (Mgr.). He graduated with a PG Dip title from John Moores University in Liverpool in the field of Drug Use and Addiction. He received an advisory qualification certificate from Greenwich College, London University in London. In 2006 he was awarded a postgraduate certificate in systematic psychotherapy from the Institute of Systematic Therapy in Prague.

Jindřich Vobořil speaks English, Spanish and Russian. He is married with two children.

The future of the international drugs control system and the place of psychodelics in it.

Psychedelics are scheduled in the most controlled substances, such as heroin, but there are also many studies that confirm their therapeutic potential and abuse of these substances is very unlikely. Recent advances in science point to evidence illustrating the potential of these substances – in particular the therapeutic potential of cannabis, MDMA, psilocybin and ibogaine as a treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder, depression and problematic drug use.

However, there are a number of barriers that prevent research such as the legislative framework, the classification of these substances as a controlled substances, access to the quantity, quality, and type of this substances necessary to address specific research questions on the health effects, or funding. Without adequate financial support, research will be unable to inform health care or public health care.

Given the progress made over the last decades, International Drug Conventions appear to be untenable for a long time and we should therefore be thinking about preparing proposals for regulating these substances at national and international level