UNODC supports the execution of the 1 st International Congress on Prevention of Problems Related to Drug Use (PREVINE 2014)

Brasilia, November 28, 2014 - "The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in Brazil is an important partner and has done an extremely important job in our country in the fields of health, human trafficking, corruption, drugs, organized crime and money laundering" said the National Secretary on Drugs Policy of the Ministry of Justice, Vitore Maximiano during the opening of the First International Congress of Prevention of Problems Related to Drug Use (PREVINE), hosting around 700 people.

The conference brought together policy makers, experts, academics and civil society in Brasilia, between 27 and 28 November, aiming to be a knowledge-sharing space and a best practices scenario on universal social policies, selecting interventions for families, schools and communities at risk, regulation of legal drugs and combating the stigma on drugs in information campaigns. In addition, the Congress also promoted the discussion of how the 0social sciences and the Brazilian health sciences can meet the challenge of thinking about prevention in the current social and cultural context of Brazil.

During the opening cerimony, the Representative of the UNODC Liaison Partnership Office in Brazil, Rafael Franzini, highlighted Brazil's important advances in the standpoint of health treatment of drug users and reflected upon the importance of this congress for policymaking prevention on drugs. "Events like this are essential to the formulation of effective drug prevention policies," said Franzini. In addition, the Representative took the opportunity to launch the Portuguese version of the publication of UNODC entitled "International Guidelines on Drug Abuse Prevention".


Mesa de abertura do Primeiro Previne Plateia do auditório do Primeiro Previne
Opening cerimony authorities  First Previne audience 

Also attended the opening session of the National Drug Policy Secretary of the Ministry of Justice, Vitore Maximiano, the National Coordinator of Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drugs, from the Ministry of Health, Roberto Tykanori and the Professor from the Federal University of Santa Catarina, Dr Roseli Zen Cerny.

Justice Minister Jose Eduardo Cardozo, who was also present at the opening session, stressed the importance of a set of social action work, public safety and health to prevent the abuse of legal and illegal drugs. "The state has the duty to act in terms of prevention and for that we must overcome the prejudices, sharing of good practice experiences and boost research in this area," said the Minister. 

UNODC's  Health Program Officer Nara Santos participated as mediator session entitled "Prevention: Science to the Brazilian reality." The chair was composed by Mr Gregor Burkhart, the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, which discussed the effectiveness of prevention strategies, based on data from the publication of UNODC launched at the event.

Also composing the chair, Mrs. Daniela Ribeiro Schneider, from the Federal University of Santa Catarina, addressed the influence of social and cultural context in prevention. Epela Mrs. Ana Cecilia Roselli Marques Petta, from the Federal University of Sao Paulo and the Brazilian Association of Alcohol and Other Drugs Study, showed an environmental prevention experience in a city of São Paulo.

At the end of the first day it was launched the Brazilian Society of Prevention, an initiative of the universities involved in the adaptation and evaluation prevention  methodologies within the family and at schools, the partnership among the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Justice and UNODC, the Federal University of Santa Catarina, the Federal University of São Paulo and teh University of Brasilia. The UNODC will participate in the executive committee of the Society.

At the the second day morning session, two tables discussed the preventive actions in family and school environments, where they were presented UNODC's methodologies, which have been applied to different cities of the country through a partnership among the Ministry of Health, universities and State and local government branches, such as  Jogo Elos - Construindo Coletivos (linking game - building colectivities), #tamojunto (we're together) and Fortalecendo Famílias (strengthening families).

The Jogo Elos - Construindo Coletivos methodology is a strategy for the production of a harmonious interaction and cooperation between learners and educators. Focusing on some basic and necessary elements for the development of students' atonomy, which is a precondition for autonomy collective building. The methodology is aimed at educating the 1st to 5th grade students and favors the development of social skills, such as self-knowledge, self-control, autonomy, empathy, listening, speaking and tolerance.

The #tamojunto program is a tool that works the concepts of social influences and the development of life skills associated with the prevention of drug use. The program is based on the Global Social Influence Model - which work proposal is anchored on three areas: development of life skills, elucidation of the role of normative beliefs, and critical thinking on the information of this subject. The methodology also emphasizes the interactive nature, as such, it stimulates the constant exchange of experiences among students, through the lifestyle of adolescents and their beliefs. The program is designed for 7th grade and 8th grade of elementary school students.

The third methodology Fortalecendo Famílias is a proposal for intervention on families, this methodology aims reducing the risk factors to the use and abuse of substances by adolescents. Engaged in the building and the strengthening of family bonds, defined as protective factors against the use and abuse and alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. The target audience is families (parents and guardians) with teenagers from 10 to 14 years old.

The congress was organized by the National Secretariat for Policies on Drugs of the Ministry of Justice, the National Coordination of Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drugs of the Ministry of Health and the Federal University of Santa Catarina, with the support of the United Nations Office on Drugs and crime (UNODC) and with the participation of 700 people.