Drug Education News

News and views from the Drug Education Forum

UNODC Podcasts

The UNODC have a number of (substance specific) podcasts on their World Drug Campaign website.

The introductory file explains the concept, which is to put questions from teenagers to experts.

Filed under: International, UNODC

UNODC launches “pro-health” drug campaign on World Health Day

wdd09_158x158The UNODC press release says:

Every year 200,000 people die from drug-related illnesses.

Young people are more susceptible to drug use. Prevalence of drug use among young people is more than twice as high as drug use among the general population; three times as high in the case of cannabis. “Much more needs to be done to provide young people with the skills, information and opportunities to lead healthy and fulfilling lives”, said Mr. Costa.

The young are also more vulnerable to the effects of drug use. Because their brains are still developing, by taking drugs they are more at risk of memory loss, behavioural problems and even psychosis.

They say they are launching a campaign website – although as I write there only seems to be a holding page available (and then only if you’re using Internet Explorer).

Filed under: UNODC

Reducing adverse health and social consequences of drug abuse

UNODC, in a paper arguing that harm reduction and drug prevention are not as incompatible is sometimes portrayed, say this about drug education:

Education programmes must be carefully designed in order to avoid being counterproductive. Support may be given to mass media campaigns to raise public awareness concerning the danger of drug abuse. The principal target group for education programmes is young people both in and out of school. Programmes for the promotion of a healthy lifestyle that incorporate a drug prevention element should be encouraged. It must be kept in mind that in many developing countries with inadequate healthcare and social care services, education programmes are practically the only medium available for demand reduction activities.

Filed under: drug education, UNODC, ,

Amy Winehouse, Kate Moss ‘glamorise’ drugs

The Telegraph are amongst the media outlets that pick up comments by Antonio Maria Costa to the effect that there’s no such thing as fair trade cocaine:

One of the world’s top drug enforcement officials has launched a fierce public attack on “celebrity” cocaine users Amy Winehouse and Kate Moss, accusing them of glamorising a global drug trade that now threatens to devastate parts of Africa.

Antonio Maria Costa, head of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, singled the pair out as he warned that Britain faced a massive new threat from Colombian cocaine barons, who have recently carved out new transit routes to Europe via Africa’s west coast.

He said the burgeoning trade posed a severe risk to youngsters in Britain, where cocaine use has doubled among 16- to 24-year-olds in the past 10 years. It also threatened the “complete collapse” of some impoverished West African nations, where weak and corrupt governments were now uniquely vulnerable to the corrosive influence of drug money.

And while I’m sure that it’s once again worth pointing out that the relationship between celebrity drug use and young people is complex, I think the general point – that drug use doesn’t just affect your own health or your local community it has an international dimension – is well made.

My feeling is that drug education should explore the harms that are done to the wider community by drugs just as much as it focuses on harms to an individual’s health and wellbeing.

Filed under: UNODC, , ,

About this blog

This blog tries to pick up relevant media and research stories about drug education. It mainly focuses on information in England as this is the geographical remit for the Drug Education Forum. We welcome comments that are on topic.

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July 2021