In recent years we have witnessed a proliferation of new patterns of substance use and at-risk behaviour among young people
According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), adolescents and young adults (up to 25 years old) represent the majority of drug users, while they also are the most vulnerable to the effects of drugs. In addition, compulsive use of technology and other potentially addictive non-substance related behaviours play an increasingly important role in our lives, especially among this population.
Prevention is a science
The field of prevention is a science that needs to be monitored and evaluated. It goes far beyond raising awareness of a particular issue. Awareness raising is also important, but prevention work has many more implications.
Prevention is not only about dealing with substance use and addictive behaviours. In order for it to be effective, it is necessary to adopt a holistic perspective that includes the social determinants of health, as well as the variables of youth well-being (education, employment, empowerment opportunities, health, etc.) and vulnerability factors, among many others.
The Dianova network member organizations develops prevention programs for families that offer strategies based on the development of competencies, skills and capacities, such as decision-making, conflict resolution, communication, assertiveness and contingency management. Information on the use of alcohol, tobacco, cannabis and ICTs is necessary but not sufficient as a preventive strategy in the face of possible inappropriate use and the presence of other risk factors such as impulsivity and poor emotional management often observed during adolescence.
Dianova International – “Together, We Grow” Program
The programme Together, We Grow. Families as health agents aims to educate families as health agents in the promotion of healthy habits and the prevention of inappropriate use of alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, technology and other risky behaviours. It is especially urgent to equip families with competences and skills on different aspects, including:
- Management of risk situations
- Negotiation skills
- Emotional management of conflict
- Rules and limitations
- Basic concepts about addictions
- Communication channels
Read article byAntonio Jesús Molina-Fernández on this issue
Drustvo “Up” (Slovenia) – Skills for life
Implemented by the organization UP, the School of Life Skills consists in a program of lectures delivered free of charge by experts working in various areas of the addiction field, with the aim of educating and raising awareness among families and the general public.
RIO (Norway) – Meetings and trainings
The organization RIO runs safe and drug-free meeting places in several cities in Norway. Kafé X and Kafé Ovenpå offer free meals, discussions and vocational training opportunities, in cooperation with municipalities.
KKAWF (Pakistan) – Hum Saath Hein
Since 2017, the Karim Khan Afridi Welfare Foundation (KKAWF) has been implementing a modified version of the European prevention program Unplugged. This school-based prevention initiative is funded by the European Commission and successfully implemented in numerous countries. UNODC Pakistan adapted the programme to the cultural needs of Pakistan with the ‘Hum Saath Hain’ program (Together).
SPYM (India) – Awareness-raising programs
In India, children between the ages of 8 and 15 are among the most vulnerable to drug use due to the influence of their peers. As a result, many children drop out of school before completing primary education.
The awareness programmes developed by the organization SPYM are designed to help school principals, teachers, counsellors, primary care nurses and other stakeholders to identify problem groups. SPYM educates young people about the dangers of addiction through various multimedia techniques that convey the message in a simple and engaging way.
Some of our activities
The objective of the project is to promote aducation and awareness about drug addiction and its consequencesRead more