Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries (UNODC)

UNODC/WHO International Standards on Drug Use Prevention for Law Enforcement Officers 

The global substance use problem is a serious public health concern that affects not only health, safety and well-being of communities, but also social and economic development. It particularly affects children, young people and their families.

In the last 20 years there has been a significant advance in prevention science that has led to the development of the UNODC/WHO international drug use prevention standards. These standards summarize the currently available scientific evidence, describing interventions and policies that have been found to result in positive prevention outcomes and their characteristics. Drug prevention is an integral part of a larger effort to ensure children and young people are less vulnerable and more resilient.

Law enforcement agencies have always played a critical role in the protection and maintenance of public health. The behaviours and approaches of police are critical in shaping the environment and health outcomes for key populations. And especially when it comes to substance use prevention, collaborative, multi-level, evidence-based, developmentally sensitive programs are crucial.

Upon request of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighboring Countries, in close collaboration with the UNODC Prevention, Treatment and Rehabilitation Section and in coordination with the UNODC Programme for Central Asia, conducted a webinar on UNODC/WHO International Standards on Drug Use Prevention for thirty police officers of Kazakhstan. 

Mr. Jeremy Milsom, senior programme coordinator of the Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neigboring Countries, in his opening remarks highlighted the importance of drug use prevention, treatment and rehabilitation services for people who use drugs, as well as cooperation with law enforcement agencies to make counter narcotics efforts more comprehensive, also he pointed out the problems of non-medical use of prescription drugs and increase of new psychoactive substances in the region.

An overview on the science of prevention, developmental model, political framework and the information on the elaboration process of the guidelines for LE were presented and discussed at the event.  Also, science of policing, what prevention interventions work and what do not work and the role LE in prevention as well as future steps on how to use the guidelines were discussed and agreed upon.