Stakeholders Meet to Develop Drug Use Prevention Strategy for Nigeria

ABUJA, 16 OCTOBER 2014. Stakeholders in drug use prevention met in a National Seminar on International Standards on Drug Use Prevention in Abuja on 15-16 October 2014 to formulate a drug use prevention strategy for Nigeria, in line with the recently drafted National Drug Control Master Plan 2015-2019. The seminar was held under the European Union (EU) funded project "Response to Drugs and Related Organized Crime in Nigeria" being implemented by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Participants in the seminar included policy makers and representatives of relevant government agencies and ministries and non-government organizations. 

During her keynote presentation at the seminar, Ms. Giovanna Campello, from the Prevention, Treatment and Rehabilitation Section at UNODC Headquarters, said drug prevention is important because it is about safeguarding the health of people and that no health-centered and balanced system can succeed without prevention. She said the chances of developing mental disorders later in life are greater if a child starts to use psychoactive substances, but that prevention can help stop this because it will help prevent young people from using drugs and at the same time prevent them from engaging in other risky behaviors.

Ms. Campello presented results of research conducted on drug use prevention interventions around the world. She described interventions that have worked and those that have not worked and encouraged participants to base their prevention interventions on evidence and to "consider using methods that have been proven to be effective in preventing drug use."

Mr. Frederic Varenne, Program Manager at the EU, said the EU is a partner in the Response to Drugs and Related Organized Crime project because of the balanced and integrated approach the project is employing to tackle drug trafficking and drug abuse. He said, "No project to fight illicit drugs all over the world has ever had successful and sustainable results without strong illicit drug use prevention actions. This is an exemplary project that has a substantive part of the resources dedicated to supporting efforts to reduce payments for illicit drugs by implementing quality drug prevention and control strategy. By implementing an illicit drug prevention strategy in Nigeria we will soon see concrete results."

Response to Drugs and Related Organized Crime in Nigeria is a large scale project that is supporting Nigeria's efforts to fight illicit drug production, trafficking and use, and to curb related organized crime, including counterfeit narcotics and psychotropic substances. A key output of the project is the promotion of and development of skills for 'healthy lifestyles' in schools, families and communities. The project is working with government counterparts to pilot evidence based prevention programs in Nigeria.

 

For more information, please contact:

James Ayodele          

Tel: 234 701 683 9159, 234 802 976 8649

E-mail: james.ayodele@unodc.org