UNODC presents International Standards on Drug Use Prevention at International Symposium on Alcohol Abuse in Brazil

São Paulo, 14 November 2013 - The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) participated in the International Symposium on Alcohol Abuse, held this week by the Department of Preventive Medicine of the Federal University of São Paulo and by the Brazilian Information Center on Psychotropic Drugs.

The event, which took place on 11 and 12 November in São Paulo, aimed to promote discussions about prevention programs, public policies and effective interventions to deal with alcohol abuse. The Representative of the UNODC Liaison and Partnership Office in Brazil, Rafael Franzini, attended the opening of the symposium and spoke about the International Standards on Drug Use Prevention , released in March by UNODC.

"The International Standards summarize the scientific evidence available today, describing the interventions and policies that have resulted in positive prevention measures and their characteristics", said Franzini. He added that the International Standards identify the major components and features of an efficient drug prevention system in a country.

The event held for 330 people - including students, professionals and government officials - was also attended by renowned Brazilian and foreign researchers with extensive experience in the study of alcohol abuse and public policies, prevention and intervention strategies for damage reduction, especially when associated to the risk consumption pattern of "binge drinking".

UNODC hopes that the standards will guide governments and organizations around the world in the development of programs, policies and systems that work as solid and effective investments in the future of children, youth, families and communities. "This work builds on and recognizes the work of many other organizations, which have developed standards and guidelines on various aspects in the prevention of drug use," said Franzini.

According to him, the main objective of preventing drug use is to help people, especially, but not exclusively, young people, in order to prevent or delay the onset of drug use or, if they have already started to use drugs, to prevent the development of disorders such as addiction.

Franzini emphasized that the prevention system is effective and helps children, young people and adults participate positively in daily activities. "Prevention science has made huge advances in the last 20 years. As a result, professionals and governments now have a better understanding about what makes individuals vulnerable, prompting the onset of drug use, at both the individual and the social scopes ", said Franzini.

He also stressed that prevention science has revealed that many drug prevention policies and interventions also prevent other risky behaviors. "Certainly, marginalized young people in poor communities with little or no family support and limited access to school are especially at risk, as are children, individuals and communities devastated by war or natural disasters".

Related information

International Standards on Drug Use Prevention (in English and Portuguese)

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