Mgr. JINDŘICH VOBOŘIL, Pg.Dip., is a leading Czech authority on drug use as reflected in his more than 20 years of experience leading and developing health programs and social services. He also held the post of Czech National Anti-Drug Coordinator and director of the anti-drug policy department and the secretariat of the Government Council for the Coordination of Anti-Drug Policy (RVKPP).
Jindřich Vobořil has worked on the establishment, development, and evaluation of community services, especially drug abuse prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation programs since the 1990s. In 2000–2009, he actively participated in preparing community anti-drug strategies and projects financed by the European Commission. Besides creating strategic documents, he also authored articles published in specialized publications and periodicals.
Vobořil also collected a wealth of experience abroad, lecturing and developing community and social projects in Hungary, Serbia, and the former Soviet republics including Russia. He spent nearly a year in Afghanistan, as well as working extensively in countries like Bolivia, Columbia, Ecuador, and Peru while also lecturing at foreign universities and international conferences and workshops. Vobořil also worked as a consultant for the European Commission, the U.N., the Open Society Fund, the German Technical Cooperation Agency (GTZ), the Dutch Trimbo institut, Spain’s Fiap, etc.
Before becoming the national anti-drug policy coordinator, Vobořil was the chairman and executive director of Sdružení Podané ruce (Helping Hands Association), which under his leadership became one of the two largest non-profit organizations focused on drugs in the Czech Republic. The group provides a complex system of services: from primary prevention to therapy, substitution, psycho-therapeutic aid, and working with drug users in prisons, with 48 centres across the Czech Republic.
In the Czech Republic
As the Coordinator and Executive Deputy Chairman of the Government Council for the Coordination of Anti-Drug Policy, Vobořil reported directly to the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic. He was the longest-serving head of the body when he left the post.
Vobořil personally took part in fundamental changes to Czech legislation, such as laws on addictive substances and gambling, while helping to craft important government documents. He unified policies about legal and illegal substances and gambling into an integrated policy. His activities helped set the groundwork for a law on gambling and his leadership led to the first study on the effects of gambling and their subsequent monitoring.
A Czech Voice at the U.N.
As the head of the Czech delegation, Vobořil put significant personal effort into the negotiation of the so-called Outcome Document signed by the U.N. General Assembly in 2016. The effort won international acclaim for the country and he also contributed to the creation of the European strategy, action plans, and a series of resolutions that were presented and successfully negotiated at the U.N.
Within the context of Czech national drug policies, Vobořil highlighted unsolved problems, such as the unprecedented access minors have to legal addictive substances, helping to build pan-societal pressure for fundamental changes in this area. As an expert on the creation of health and social care, he also pushed for a significant increase in the budget for the modern procurement of key services for those addicted to drugs, as well as drug prevention.
Jindřich Vobořil began his university studies at the Sts Cyril and Methodious Faculty of Theology at Palacký University in Olomouc, successfully passing his state examinations in education and theology. He earned his post-graduate degree from Liverpool John Moores University, studying applied psychology with a focus on drug use and addiction. Vobořil received his therapeutic certification from the University of Greenwich in London. In 2006, he was awarded a post-graduate certificate in systemic psychotherapy from the Institute of Systemic Therapy in Prague.
“As the national coordinator forming Czech and EU strategies, I always championed an approach that minimised damages and risks. The only scientifically-proven approach in the area of “legal” addictions is a balanced policy of control and prevention as well as the decriminalisation of addicted individuals and users of addictive substances.”