Prevention programs

Drug use prevention programs are effective when they are evidence-based and address the needs of a community, involving all relevant sectors. Effective programs should also incorporate strong monitoring and evaluation components. These programs are also cost effective. It has been shown that for every dollar spent on good drug use prevention programs for young people, up to US$ 10 can be saved.

UNODC launched a set of International Standards on Drug Use Prevention at the 56th Session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) in 2013. This document was presented to Brazilian authorities in a side event of the International Symposium on Drugs: from Coercion to Cohesion, held in Brasília in September 2013.

In addition, two other UNODC publications provide a comprehensive review of drug use prevention programs and their methodologies: the Compilation of Evidence-Based Family Skills Training Programmes and the Guide to Implementing Family Skills Training Programmes for Drug Abuse Prevention.

See below further details about the prevention projects developed by the UNODC Liaison and Partnership Office in Brazil:


There are two projects from the Family Skills global program being implemented in Brazil. The first is aimed at families with children aged up to five years old, and the second is aimed at families with 10 to 14-year-olds. Currently, the projects are in a pre-pilot phase. These programs are designed for the whole family and offer parents a set of tools to improve communication and monitoring of their children's activities, while also establishing age-appropriate limits.


Schools offer an important setting for UNODC to reach many children and adolescents through prevention activities. One of the prevention methods for schools launched by UNODC in Brazil is based on promoting discussions among 10- to 14-year-old students.

There is also another methodology aimed at  6 to 10 years old students. In this program , children are divided into groups that can be reordered by the teacher throughout the school year and participate in a game whose goal is improving school life and preventing truancy.


Based on an international reference methodology, UNODC implements a project for preventing the inadequate use of drugs in the work environment. The project aims to adapt, implement and assess the impact of activities to reduce the demand for psychoactive substances in the workplace and at families homes, following guidelines developed by UNODC, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

In Brazil, the project has been adapted and implemented since 1995 by the Industry's Social Service of Rio Grande do Sul State (SESI-RS), in partnership with UNODC, reaching about 50 companies. SESI has also applied the same methodology in four companies in Uruguay. The results related to the prevention of problems caused by the use of narcotics and alcohol among workers and their families were positive:

• There was a 16%reduction in the number of smokers.

• Alcohol consumption, considering frequency and amounts consumed, was reduced by 12.5%.

• Workers' absence because of illness or incapacity, which burdens companies' payrolls, were reduced in average by 10%.

• The number of workers arriving late fell from 7.2% to 5%.

• Before the project's implementation, 23% of workers informed they had been involved in accidents in the previous 12 months. By the end of the project, this percentage dropped to 14%.

As a consequence of the results obtained in Rio Grande do Sul, the project implemented by SESI received the quality certification ISO 9001. Both the workers' quality of life and the companies' productivity were improved.

In April 2013, the project was launched by UNODC and SESI in the state of Mato Grosso, aimed at the industrial sector and also at the communities where the workers live.