UNODC and SESI Mato Grosso launch alcohol and drug abuse prevention project in Brazil

Rafael Franzini presents the project in Cuiabá27 March 2013 - The abuse of licit or illicit psychoactive substances may cause great harm to people's social and professional life. Family detachment, illnesses, high possibility of being involved in work accidents and decrease in productivity are some of the problems which can affect occasional alcohol and drugs users. In Mato Grosso, Brazil, the Industry Social Service (SESI), in partnership with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), will launch in April a project intended to help those that face this problem.

The Program for Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention in the Workplace and the Family will be aimed at the industry sector as well asthe communities where workers live. The companies that adhere to the program will be taken through several stages by health professionals, who will usedialogue to get workers involved in prevention and awareness activities. The implementation phases will consist in building the capacity of multipliers within the workplace and detecting workers in risk groups and those who already are users.

"The main orientation of the program will be to protect the health of workers without prejudice or harm to their privacy and job. The intention is to stimulate those who deal with this problem to look for help spontaneously and to feel safe to face all the steps of rehabilitation", said SESI-MT superintendent José Carlos Dorte. The project also includes community therapy sessions aimed at reaching neighborhoods where most workers affected by dependency live, in order to promote the sharing of experiences and the transformation of everyone.

According to the representative of UNODC's Liaison and Partnership Office in Brasília, Rafael Franzini, who went to Cuiabá last Friday to present the project, this prevention method has been successfully used by companies in Rio Grande do Sul and also in other countries, such as Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay. "This initiative helps the private sector to face social issues and extends its benefits to the families of those involved ones and their communities'', he said. Franzini emphasized that the drug prevention methodology which will be implemented in Mato Grosso in partnership with SESI-MT is based on a prevention program developed with the International Labor Organization and the World Health Organization, which was implemented by UNODC and SESI in Rio Grande do Sul in a partnership created in 1995. The methodology follows a set of international guidelines on drug prevention launched in March by UNODCduring the latest Commission on Narcotic Drugs session in Vienna.

As the president of Mato Grosso's Federation of Industries System (Sistema Fiemt) Jandir Milan explained, the Program for Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention in the Workplace and the Family will be launched in April and will last for 18 months, with pilot projects in eight local industries. "In Brazil, less than 5% of companies have a prevention program. In Rio Grande do Sul, where this project exists since 1995, there were surprising results such as a 5% reduction in the proportion of smokers", he said. "With UNODC our goal is to face this problem and to promote the improvement of self-esteem, health and quality of life for our workers", emphasized Milan.

For further information about Program for Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention in the Workplace and the Family in Mato Grosso, call: +55 (65) 3611-1653

Related information:

International Standards on Drug Use Prevention

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