UNODC discussed the protection of adolescents and young people from psychoactive and narcotic drugs at a round table “Youth for a healthy lifestyle”

On 10 August, 2022, UNODC jointly with the representatives of ministries and state departments of the Republic of Uzbekistan, members of the youth commissions of the Kengash of People's Deputies, members of the Youth Parliament at the Legislative Chamber and the Senate of the Oliy Majlis, as well as representatives of UNICEF and international experts participated in a round table on the theme "Youth for a healthy lifestyle". The event was organized on the initiative of the Youth Parliament, with the support of the Committee on Youth Affairs, Culture and Sports, and the Committee on Judicial-Legal Issues and Anti-Corruption of the Senate of the Oliy Majlis in collaboration with UNODC and UNICEF.

The use of alcohol, nicotine-containing products, drugs, and other psychoactive substances is a serious public health problem worldwide. On the one hand, the use of psychoactive substances relates to negative health consequences: accidents, violence, chronic diseases such as addiction, infection diseases, cancer, etc., on the other hand, the use of psychoactive substances and its negative consequences can have a profound negative impact on the development of young people and endanger their education, labor activity and usefulness to society.

Dilorom Tashmukhamedova, Deputy Chairperson of the Committee on Youth, Culture and Sports, in her welcoming speech mentioned: “Adolescence is extremely important period due to physiological, biological, emotional and psychological aspects which is a wonderful, but also a very responsible period both for a child and parents, teachers, tutors and other social workers. From this point of view, today the UN and other active youth organizations highlight the importance of this period. We should draw our attention to our teenagers. If we invest in education and health of teenagers as much as possible today,  the results of this investment will be tripled in the future. First of all, our children will grow up healthy and develop as well-rounded generation.”

During the presentation, Borikhan Shaumarov, UNODC Regional Coordinator for Drug Demand Reduction Programmes highlighted: “Our activity mainly focuses on the following directions. We are working on the support of measures to prevent drug use and the development of regional cooperation through improving the knowledge and skills of decision-makers to develop and implement evidence-based comprehensive drug prevention programs, which are in line with   i UNODC/WHO International Standards on  Drug Use Prevention. Moreover UNODC is enhancing the capacity of National Drug Prevention officials on the following family skills development programs: “Family and School Together”  “Strengthening Families“, “Strong Families” and “Family UNited” programmes which are being successfully implemented in Uzbekistan in recent years”.

The main purpose of this event was to discuss the participation of youth in the protection of teenagers and young people from such threats as psychoactive and narcotic drugs, the participation of young people in the fight against these threats, the analysis of the best world practices on the role of youth in the development and implementation of prevention methods on prevention of drug use, the development of recommendations for further actions of youth, as well as issues of directing young people to a healthy lifestyle.

The speakers in their report talked about the negative consequences, international practice in this area and how young people are engaged in preventive work. In particular, in the context of prevention of drug use, it might mean involving young people in planning, initiating, implementing and evaluating prevention programs, strategies and discussions. For example, it was noted that young people can be involved in preventive work or in the development of a comprehensive approach to reduce drug use among minors.  

Wadih Maalouf, Global Program Coordinator of the Prevention, Treatment and Rehabilitation Section of the UNODC Headquarters in his presentation “Sharing world best practices in the field of drug use prevention” mentioned: “The main message of the International Standards on Prevention of Drug Use is rather than focusing on addressing drug, addressing crime, addressing violence, focusing on a person and how can we have that person in different stages of development grow in a safe and healthy manner. There are different social institutions that affect a child in different stages of development. But for us, family and school remain as two core institutions. Uzbekistan and many other countries have been using family skills and life skills leading to support that developmental framework operationalizing standards affecting the healthy and safe development of youth.”

As a result of the round table, it was decided that the opinions, proposals, and recommendations expressed on the discussed issues would be summarized and brought to the attention of the responsible organizations. 

For more information please contact:


Arifa Fatikhova

Communications and External Relations Officer

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)

Regional Office for Central Asia

Mobile: (+998 93) 505-05-58 | Email: arifa.fatikhova[a]