Youth Action

And that is a Wrap!

March 9th 2022

The UNODC Youth Forum 2022 concluded last week in success, with youth participants embracing key take-home messages on substance use prevention and imagining how they would like to see them reflected in their communities.

Throughout the week, participants were given the opportunity to hear from experts on the importance of evidence-based prevention and letting go of the notion that scare-tactics are effective. Youth were introduced to the significance and importance of science-based results and studies that demonstrate the effectiveness of a particular intervention in preventing drug use. And of course, the “go-to” resource material that demonstrates the results of the systematic review of available study results, is the International Standards on Drug Use Prevention.

Youth participants also met within smaller groups to brainstorm and discuss potential actions/plans that could prevent drug use, and went further to elaborate them. They were able to receive feedback from prevention experts on their brainstormed plans, and it was very evident that the young leaders were picking up on the important key messages of the International Standards!

Youths encountered one of their ‘Aha!’ moments during the Youth Forum, when they learned that “Say ‘No’ to Drugs” campaigns alone are not effective in preventing substance use, as they do not change the behaviour of an individual. Age-appropriate social skills development is crucial in the healthy and safe growth of children and young people, as it reinforces resiliency against drug use.

Participants also jointly created a Youth Statement, messages they wished to convey to the adult global policymakers attending the Commission on Narcotic Drugs next week. They worked very diligently on the statement up until the last moments of the Youth Forum. We invite you to hear the youths’ voices as they deliver their Statement next week. More updates coming soon on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

Read more about the Youth Forum 2022 here.

Made possible with the support of the Russian Federation and the Sovereign Order of Malta