JES as a critical opponent of the drug service system
Self help, particularly of drug users, who insist on their right to a life of dignity with drugs, is confronted with the resistance and resentment of professional helpers as always.
Constructive approaches to enter into cooperative work with JES are not the rule, and can be found in drug and AIDS assistants who accept the situation, in particular. This principle does not change the fact that, as always, employees of the drug service systems, the medical and social areas, who find access to the area through a professional qualification, confront JES staff with more or less openly formulated scepticism. This originates not only in experiences and prejudices. JES’ function as a critical opponent of this system also breaks through the interests of many service systems by securing their vested interests, makes people feel insecure and creates distance.
As a critical observer of developments in the professional drug system, JES presumes that professionalism develops specific qualities. These can be found particularly in professionalism, professional specialisation, work motivated by employment and, not to forget, from the secured existence of those providing the service. These traits of professional assistance are not only represented as advantages. They are seen under different aspects, at the same time as their limits. They not only bring their own dynamic interests to the securing of position but also form an integral part of tendencies to orient themselves towards costs and methods.
As an association and network of junkies, former drug users and people in OST, the current needs and interests of drug users are immediately accessible to us. JES can therefore act as an early warning system for current and new problems and indicate the future requirements for professional offers of assistance early on. JES is also a critical opponent of the fact that professionals, under a qualitatively high standard of work, not only (mis-) understand the adherence to fixed working standards. By means of discussion, the professional service system receives important incentives to develop more results oriented offers compliant with needs. Following on from this, we assume that the service system is dependent on JES as a critical guide in the process of developing professional assistance. JES thus sees itself as a provider of incentives for the modernisation of existing professional approaches.