Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries

Regional Workshop on the Development and Implementation of National Surveys on Youth Drug Use

26-29 May 2014, Marriott Hotel Islamabad

26 May 2015, Islamabad - The UNODC, under its Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries, has organised a four day workshop on the development and implementation of policies combating drug use among young people. This workshop forms part of the UNODC's programme of providing technical skills training to countries in the region to enable a better understanding of youth drug use. 

As youth drug use is a critical marker for primary prevention programmes, which are targeted at preventing the initiation of young people and reducing the overall number who later develop into drug dependents, this regional workshop (the  third in this series) will focus on methods to measure drug abuse among youth. As this falls under program activities for the Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries, priority invitation is extended to representatives from: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. 

The purpose of this workshop is to offer training in the specialised area of estimating the extent of drug use among youth (16 year olds), which is based on a model of school-based surveys, but will also include modules on measuring out-of-school drug use for implementation in areas where the enrolment in secondary schools, particularly with respect to 16 year olds, is at low levels  l (<80 per cent). 

The primary objective of the training is to provide an understanding of the processes required to plan and implement a survey on drug use among youth both in and out of school settings. These  include the following components:

  • Describe the methodology and special considerations for surveys on youth drug use both in and outside of school settings
  • Increase national capacity to design and implement surveys on youth drug use including developing questionnaires
  • Develop relationships with focal points that will move forward with developing the methodology,  questionnaire translation, adaptation, and testing in the months following the workshop and later implementation in selected places.

Delegates consist of mid-to-senior level professionals who are responsible for monitoring the drug situation and are currently working in the areas of drug use prevention and treatment, public health, and/or have expertise in conducting research in health related areas. Those with experience in adolescent health will also be encouraged to join. It is expected that the workshop participants, three from each country, will then become the national contact persons for future planning and implementation of the youth surveys in their respective countries. 

Addressing the delegates at his opening speech, Mr. Cesar Guedes, the representative from the UNODC, Pakistan said, "It is you, the delegates, what you take on board in such workshops and take back to your respective ministries at home, that make significant differences in tackling the harmful effects of illicit drugs. We are extremely fortunate to have technical experts from the UNODC's Headquarters in Vienna and also our office here in Islamabad leading this workshop".

This Workshop was made possible by the continued generous support of the European Union to  the UNODC's Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries.  It is thanks to this support that this workshop is possible.