Uruguay presents prevention program for drug use among young athletes

April 8, 2011 - Promoting skills and psychosocial potentials among teenagers and young athletes to succeed in overcoming risk situations arising from the use of drugs. That is the goal of the program "By Sports", presented by the Uruguayan government on Wednesday April 6 at the Museum of Football.

The program is conducted by the National Drugs Council, the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, and the NGO "El Abrojo" and is implemented by the Uruguayan Football Association, The Soccer Organization of the Interior, the Uruguayan Basketball Federation and ANDA.

The program approaches as global universe of more than 175,000 athletes who play soccer or basketball in the country, said the National Director of Sports, Ernesto Irurueta. "The problem is that parents, fathers or mothers, do not occupy the place we should and do not devote time to our kids," said the president of Uruguay, José Mujica, referring to drug use among youth.

"We are little friends with our youngsters, we do not spend time with them. We say: 'I do not want my child to miss things like I missed, but we must be careful that by earning more money to bring this and that we do not have time to give them the love they deserve," the president said.

Moreover he stressed the "lack of actors" to work on prevention of problematic drug use among youth. "At times the checkmates of our society make us think that these issues are somewhat quixotic, but I think that the impossible costs a little more. I prefer the human effort," added Mujica.

"By Sports", said the Assistant Secretary of the Presidency of the Republic Diego Canepa, seeks to prevent not only the consumption of illegal drugs but also legal ones, like alcohol, "which today is one of the most serious problems with young athletes and the entire Uruguayan society. "

Canepa registered this initiative as part of "the series of programs being carried out by the government" and stressed the importance of joint work between state and private structures in the field.

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