Member Activity

WFAD member Ajit Baral has been cycling around a vast number of countries to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS and to advocate for environmentalism.

“I am awaring people around the world that HIV AIDS can be transmitted by any means not only through sexual contact and those people living with it are humans as well so treat them like humans” Ajit writes. Ajit Baral has been published in numerous newspapers and interviews as well as TV-stations and radio channels around the world.

"I don’t claim to change everyone in this world but I can at least resemble the change. I want to take this step of change as a domino effect. I believe that if at least I change a single person then he or she can change two and they resemble the change and change others and likewise."
Cycling around the world with a mission, Ajit Baral and his companions many obstacles, financial struggles play a very important role according to Ajit, as they need to raise funds to apply for Visa, as well as pay for bike repairs, lodging and food. 

If you would like to fund Ajit Baral and his mission, follow this link to gofundme




DRUG FREE AUSTRALIA 
Parliamentary speech of the Honorable Dennis Hood, Government of South Australia, Australia, Wednesday 5th September, 2018. 
On the fifth of September, 2018, The Hon. D.G.E. Hood rose to speak about the important work of Drug Free Australia, member of the World Federation Against Drugs, in the Parliament House. 
 
"Drug Free Australia's vision is to ensure communities, including members of parliament, are well informed about the harms of drug use and are empowered with knowledge to assist in effective policy information. Indeed, many members in this place may have received emails from Drug Free Australia from time to time, which I personally have found to be very helpful and quite informative, given I hold views that are largely in accordance with their own, in particular on how we should treat the issues of trafficking, sale and manufacturing of illicit substances.

Members may not be aware that the chairman of Drug Free Australia is Major Brian Watters, who was actually the chair of former prime minister John Howard's Australian National Council on Drugs (ANCD), which served as his drug advisory from 1996 through to 2007. During this particular period, I am informed that the national cannabis use was halved, amphetamine use was cut by 40 per cent and heroin use decreased by 75 per cent. Major Watters was also Australia's representative to the United Nations' International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) throughout most of these years, which is an impressive accolade for one.

As part of their work, and in recognition that legislators require reliable, accurate and up-to-date information with regard to the prevalence of substance abuse in our nation, Drug Free Australia provides briefs to parliamentarians whenever specific issues call for evidence-based clarity. Part of the organisation's work with members of the federal parliament and state parliaments is undertaken through its participation in parliamentary inquiries, where its submissions are often cited at the reporting stage." 

Read the full speech here
 


International Day against Drug Abuse & Illicit Trafficking (IDADA) day celebrations take place annually on the 26th of June. It is marked to celebrate the gains made by all stakeholders dealing with drug abuse & illicit trafficking including drug abuse survivors. 

This year KEYNET* and CCABO-Kenya* joined hands as organizers to create the first ever International Day celebration in Kakamega County. The event was held at Shianda P.A.G Church compound of Mumias East Sub County a location which is one of the most prone area to violent extremism and drugs trafficking percentage in Kakamega. The larger Mumias/ Butere district borders Bungoma and Busia County which is well known for trafficking drugs and illicit brews to the country.

The Kakamega County IDADA celebration activity was within the organization’s Advocacy program that targets vulnerable persons, youth and children to live health life. The program aims at Community social mobilization and advocacy for health and hygiene promotion and also create demand for increased uptake of key health and hygiene promotion interventions. The event was partially facilitated by County Government of Kakamega and NACADA.

The theme of day was: #LISTEN FIRST! Listening to Children & Youth is the first step to help them grow healthy and safe.

Read more: International Day against Drug Abuse & Illicit Trafficking celebration in Kakamega County

From 19th to 20th October 2017 the African Youth Initiative on Crime Prevention AYICRIP in partnership with the Civil Society Network on Substance and Drug Abuse CSNetSDA organized her Annual National Youth Summit on Drugs and Substance Abuse Prevention in Nigeria with the theme: ‘Drugs and substance abuse, an impediment to youth development and national productivity’ at the former SGF Office in the centre of unity, Abuja, Nigeria.  The Summit which is the 3rd edition saw the participation of 227 youth leaders from the National Youth Service Corps, Universities, Communities, Secondary Schools, Faith Based Institutions and the Civil Society Organizations within the country with the aim of appraising the fight against drug/substance abuse and illicit trafficking among young people and proffer suggestions on the way forward.

The summit was chaired by Mr Jake Epelle, President of Albino Foundation while Dr Sintiki Tarfa Ugbe, Director, Gender, Youth and Drug Control of ECOWAS who was represented by Mr Daniel Amankwa delivered the keynote address. The Director General of the National Orientation Agency who was represented by Mr Onoja Attah, Deputy Director, Public Education and Enlightenment presented a goodwill message. Our resource persons and facilitators were experts drawn from the academia and our partner organizations which include the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, United Nations Office on Drug and Crime, UNODC, ECOWAS, United Religious Initiative, URI, PADDI Foundation, YouthArise, International Centre for Leadership Development in Nigeria, Centre for Development of Institutions, CDI, University of Jos and Global Initiative for Rural Health (GIRH).

The participants were trained on prevention, sensitization, counselling and advocacy skills which reflect world best practices in the global fight against illicit trafficking, drug and substance abuse prevention. The summit also covered topics that educated the youths on the health, social and economic implications, consequences and repercussions associated with illicit drug trafficking, drug and substance abuse among young people. Participants were also trained on how to mobilize through advocacy their law makers (State and National Assembly Members) to make appropriate drug and substance abuse prevention.

As part of the activities, the participants re-enforced their commitment in the fight against drug and substance abuse by showing a red card to illicit drug trafficking and drug and substance abuse in Nigeria and two invited secondary schools, Loyola Jesuit and Wisdom Field Academy took part in a debate competition and school presentation and this session gave the participants another great insight on the level of involvement of young people in the fight against drug and substance abuse.

The participants were advised to intensify effort and action in the campaign against illicit trafficking and substance abuse considering the negative effect it has on the lives and image of our youths, community and country. Participants agreed that it is no longer acceptable to see young Nigerians languish in rehabilitation homes and prisons while some are executed abroad because of drug and substance related cases.

The two day summit saw the presence of hundreds of young people from different backgrounds that significantly interacted with the speakers and among themselves. Young secondary school students were at the centre of the events: through the debates and discussions they expressed their minds on drug and substance abuse issue, and that edified the audience on how important is listening to the mid-level students that constitute the main affected part of the youth as far as drug and substance abuse is concerned.

Almost all the speakers pointed out the weak family education, peer pressure, widespread poverty and unemployment being the major causes of drugs abuse in West Africa. The solutions ranged from the restoration of family moral values, the training of peer educators, the introduction of drugs issues in school curricula to the maintenance and sustainability of the Rehabilitation Centres. The NDLEA got the occasion to reaffirm their availability to Nigerian youth for counselling and sensitization, this role coming before any penalty to the drug users. The Project Coordinator of ECOWAS Drug Control Unit emphasized on the strong family bonds as a prevention method against drugs abuse; the Government being in charge of setting up and applying laws to curb drugs and substance abuse that is one main impediment to youth development. In the long run, if not solved, the scourge of drug will have a very negative impact on the West African economy. The UNODC warned the audience on the dangers of drugs and substance abuse on their physical and mental health that jeopardizes their future.

As part of the resolutions, it was agreed that drug and substance abuse among young people is on the rise and every citizen, CSOs, Corporate organizations and the government must rise up to the challenge without which the situation will be worst. That prevention, sensitization and advocacy campaign approach must be considered above any other form of approach based on the fact that if objective and adequate prevention campaign is done, there will be no need for rehabilitation and treatment

That government should stop paying lip services in the fight against drugs and substance abuse prevention by way of creating jobs for young people, enforce already promulgated laws and policies where necessary, as well as provide adequate funding for the Drug Law Enforcement Agencies and Civil Society Organizations to enable them increase their capacity and facilities for effectiveness and increased productivity. That drug abuse victims should be treated as patients and not criminals considering their mental state and poor sense of judgement which leaves them at a helpless and mercy state.
That National Drug Law Enforcement Agency and government should formulate a rewarding system in form of drug prevention Ambassador or Champion to encourage young people who are committed to the prevention, sensitization and advocacy campaign against drug trafficking and abuse. And government should build recreational facilities and centres that will meaningfully engage the strength and energy of young people thereby diverting their energies from drugs and substance abuse.

The summit participants appreciated the commitment of ECOWAS, UNODC and other partners in the drug and substance abuse prevention project which has become a bane at our country’s development. The participants called on government, ECOWAS and the UNODC to increase their support for summit of this nature to enable AYICRIP and other NGOs take the campaign to other states and countries within the West African Sub –Region. 
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NATIONAL WORKSHOP ON DRUG LEGISLATIONS AND POLICIES

Theme: “Evolving Effective Domestic Drug Legislations and Policies towards attaining the Sustainable Development Goals”
Date: Monday, 24th July 2017-07-27
Venue: Committee Room 244, National Assembly Complex, Abuja, Nigerira.

Communiqué

The Workshop was organized by People Against Drug Dependence and Ignorance in collaboration with the Committee on Drugs and Narcotics, House of Representatives.

The Deputy Chairman of the House Committee on Drugs and Narcotics, Hon. Kehinde Agboola, representing the Chairman of the Committee, Hon (Mrs) Eucharia Okwunna, declared the Workshop open. In his address, Hon. Agboola looked forward to the Workshop coming up with actionable recommendation that will assist the National and State Legislatures evolve appropriate, sustainable and practical Legislations and Policies on Substance abuse related matters. The First Ladies of Ondo and Imo States presented Goodwill Messages and likewise expressed expectations that their expectations from the Workshop. Presentations at the Workshop were by Ms. Cristina Albertin, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC) Country Representative in Nigeria and Eze Eluchie, Esq., the Executive Director of People Against Drugs and Representative for Sub Sahara Africa on the Civil Society Task Force on the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on the Worlds Drug Problems (CSTF-UNGASS).

Conscious of the fact that the three major international drug control treaties, to wit: the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs 1961 as amended by the 1971 Protocols; Convention on Psychotropic Substances 1971; and the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988, represent substantive international benchmarks in addressing Substance abuse issues globally;

Also conscious of the fact that Nigeria is a State Party to the three international treaties and has consistently (as recent as in the Country’s Statement before the General Assembly Plenary at UNGASS on World Drug Problems) reaffirmed its commitment to the subsisting international treaties and the Revised African Union Plan of Action on Drug Control (2013-2017) which emphasizes the need to distinguish between criminal and health care components in addressing the Substance abuse issue.

Recognizing the fact that children and young persons under the age of 30 years - an age bracket that is amenable to imbibing positive values on substance abuse control when properly structured in prevention programs, make up over 75% of the Nigerian population.  

Aware that Article 33 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child to which Nigeria is a State Party enjoins States Parties to the Convention to do all within their capacity including ‘legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect children from the illicit use of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic substances as defined in the relevant international treaties’.

Further Aware that Section 25 of the Child Rights Act prohibits the exposure of children to the use trafficking and production of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.

Dismayed by the high level of ignorance amongst Nigerian children and youths of the dire consequences of illicit use of substance

Further dismayed by the near-total absence of any data or statistics on Substance abuse amongst Nigerians resulting from the absence of any agency or organ of government specifically charged with responsibility to receive, collate and maintain such data

Shocked at the near non-availability of Substance abuse Counselling, Treatment, Care and Rehabilitation services in Nigeria, and the absence of any agency charged with ensuring the availability of these services to the Nigerian population; 

Motivated by the practice in some sister-African countries, particularly Kenya and South Africa, where specialized agencies have been established with responsibility for Substance abuse Prevention, Counselling, Treatment, Care and Rehabilitation services;

Inspired by an earlier at a Workshop organized in collaboration with the Committee on Drugs and Narcotics of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria dated 10th day of October, 2000, to the effect that: “There is the dire need to establish an autonomous national agency (a National drug Abuse Prevention Agency – NDAPA), to be responsible for policy formulation and program implementation on drug abuse reduction in Nigeria. The present situation where a plethora of federal institution and agencies formulate and implement at-times divergent approaches and policies to tackle the scourge of substance abuse, is not to the best interest of the national desire to curb and eliminate drug abuse from our society. The core-personnel for NDAPA will be drawn from existing substance demand reduction units in Federal agencies such as the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), National Drug law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Ministries of Health, Youth etc”;

Further inspired by the palpable disposition of the 8th Session of the National Assembly to work assiduously towards people-friendly legislations aimed at correcting societal ails;

Realizing the important role of law enforcement in protecting society, enforcing substance abuse legislations and the need to enhance the level of expertise and professionalism of the officers and men who undertake essential, patriotic and risky duties to combat illicit drug trafficking, cultivation, production and marketing;

Also realizing that the inherent awkwardness in situating Drug Law enforcement functions in the same entity as Substance abuse Prevention, Treatment, Care and Rehabilitation, a situation that has a potential of undermining vital aspects of efforts at addressing the Substance abuse situation;

Worried about the avalanche of advocacy efforts (generally initiated and influenced by forces outside of the African continent) aggressively campaigning for the liberalization, normalization, legalization of the abuse of substances contrary to explicit provisions of existing international substance abuse treaties;

Also worried that our weak public health infrastructure, which is already overwhelmed with Primary Health Care concerns, Maternal and Child care issues, and infectious diseases, will be least prepared to cater for the avalanche of tertiary health care concerns if ongoing clamour for liberalization, normalization, legalization of the abuse of substances should materialize;

Further worried that our weak security infrastructure will be further overstretched, and may thus not be able to cope, with the deluge of Substance abuse related infractions in the event of the liberalization, normalization, legalization of the abuse of substances – thus necessitating enhanced specialized training, exposure to latest drug supply control strategies and procedures;

The following are hereby recommended:
1. A distinct Federal agency, responsible for Substance abuse Prevention, Treatment, Rehabilitation and Care issues should be created. The recommendation for an agency to be known as the National Drug Abuse Prevention Agency (N.D.A.P.A.), earlier made by a Workshop organized by People Against Drug Dependence and Ignorance with support of the Committees on Drugs and Narcotics of the Senate of the Federal Republic and the House of Representatives in Abuja, Federal Capital Territory, in October 2000, is hereby endorsed.

2. All 36 States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, are likewise enjoined to establish Drug Abuse Prevention Agencies with responsibilities as highlighted in the paragraph above.

3. A holistic and comprehensive data-base of the domestic drug abuse situation (types of substances abused, age of initial use, gender disparities is any, and so on) should, as a matter of utmost priority be ascertained and collated to ensure a clearer perspective of the nation’s drug problem and thus enhance the possibility of effective and adequate response.

4.  All strata’s of governments should undertake spirited and immediate efforts to invest in the training of requisite professional in the areas of Substance abuse such Drug Counsellors, Psychologists and other Mental Health and Social care professionals to ensure the availability of sufficient manpower and human capacity to undertake the task ahead regarding Nigeria’s expanding efforts at addressing substance abuse issues.

5. The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Act should be amended to ensure that Drug Law enforcement, Supply Control and interdiction functions and allied matters constitute the primary and sole purpose of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency. In this regards, Sections 6(1)c, 7(3)a, b, and c, should be excised/expunged from the NDLEA Act – these are the only portions of the 45 Sections in the NDLEA Act which tend to confer functions over Prevention, Treatment and Rehabilitation services on the generally law enforcement entity, which the NDLEA by its substantive statutes is.

6. While all efforts should be made at preventing the initiation of illicit use of illicit substances, abuse of substances, particularly in the case of addiction, should be recognized as a health condition deserving of treatment, care and rehabilitation where necessary.

7. The investigation, interdiction, arrest and prosecution and other drug law capabilities of the NDLEA should be vigorously enhanced to ensure that the NDLEA is able to effectively deliver on its mandate with regards to Drug Laws enforcement.

8. In keeping with international best practices and efforts at prioritizing health-care concerns, the coordinating agency with regards to issues surrounding Nigeria’s efforts should be domiciled in the Ministry of Health or Social services or similar nomenclature and not the Ministry of Justice. Addressing the substance abuse issues should be viewed more as a public health issue as opposed to being a criminal justice problem.

9. Civil Society and Community Based Organizations are enjoined to coalesce into networks to galvanize sufficient grassroots and popular support towards ensuring that best global practices in the area of addressing substance abuse demand reduction and control issues are adapted to the Nigerian situation. This will ensure that the Nigerian population keys in and takes ownership of efforts at addressing the Substance abuse situation and avoid the current regime of an ‘us-against-them’ mindset which is prevalent, resulting from the present primacy of the criminal justice component in addressing substance abuse issues.   
 
Dated this 25th day of July 2017
Workshop Organizing Committee
People Against Drug dependence & Ignorance
 
 
Over fifty (50) youth representatives from the fifteen counties of Liberia and national youth institutions have called on the Liberian Government to address key aspects in the fight against illicit drugs and the use of harmful substances in Liberia.
The fight toward a drug free society according to the youth, becomes even more worrisome base on the current state of harmful drugs in the country. “We are worried over the negative and sociological impact drugs trafficking has pose on the youth of this country”, they stated.

The youths made these assertions at the just ended National Drug Prevention Youth Conference in commemoration of the 2017 International Day against Drug Abuse & Illicit Trafficking held in Monrovia on June 22, 2017 at the YMCA organized by the Consolidated Youth for Peace & Development (COYPED), UNODC, ECOWAS and funded by the European Union.

The youth in a communiqué Thursday, presented nine counts recommendation to the Government of Liberia and stakeholders as ways of curbing the growing rate of drugs in the country.
According to COYPED executive director James Koryor, realizing that over 80% of substance users in Liberia are young people between the ages of 13-35 years, limited resources to combat drug trafficking by state institutions, lack of effective civil society organizations coordination and the non-existence of programs that focuses on care and support for substance users considering a human rights based approach;

The COYPED boss furthered that encouraged by the convocation of the United Nations General Assembly on the Worlds Drug Problems (UNGASS - 2016) and ECOWAS Regional Action Plan on illicit drug trafficking, related organized crime and drug abuse in West Africa as an authentic means to announce to national stakeholders and the world at large the views of the young people of Liberia regarding Substance abuse laws, policies and programs and desirous of ensuring that the voice of the youths of   Liberia are heard at the national level regarding issues of Substance abuse.

Also at the program, the Liberia National Police revealed that the LNP has launched what he refers to as a war against drugs, substance abuse and illicit trafficking currently at the peak in Liberia. The LNP disclosed that these acts are being carried out especially among young people considered to be the most dominant of all Liberians nationwide.

The LNP maintained that it will not relent in the fight against the use of harmful substances until the war is won. The Inspector General of the Liberia National Police Honorable Gregory Coleman made the statement when he spoke Thursday in Monrovia through a proxy, Hon. Al Karlay, at the First National Drugs Prevention Youth Conference in the country.

Inspector Coleman maintained that as part of his efforts, the LNP will continue to put in place techniques to clamp down on what he described as the production, distribution and consumption fronts of all narcotics substances in the country.
For her part, the Political Officer at the European Delegation in Liberia, Madam Emma Sundblad stated that the EU is committed to supporting the sub region in the fight against drug abuse.

Madam Sundblad call for concerted effort to minimize substance abuse in Liberia. The EU Political Officer furthered called on youths delegates to come up with key recommendations that could enhance the prevention of drug abuse in Liberia.
Also speaking at the conference, the National Project Officer at the United Nations Office on Drug & Crimes Liberia office, Mr. William T. Thompson, III reaffirmed his organization support to drug prevention in Liberia.

The UNODC official also used the occasion to call on the Government of Liberia to take ownership of national prevention and rehabilitation programs in the country stressing that it is regrettable to note that there is not a single rehabilitation
center in the country.

For his part, the Deputy Information Minister for Technical Services at the Ministry of Information, Hon. Rixck Barsigiah termed as a major challenge for Liberians considering the increase wave of the use of harmful drugs and substances by youth throughout the state.

In his thought, the rate at which illicit drugs has reached in the local society, suggest that such act could get even worse if Liberians don’t see this as a holistic fight. He said the government has done its best in this fight but efforts by the locals will enhance the best opportunity to overcome the practice.

Also speaking at the opening session of the Conference, the Team Leader of Crime Investigation Support Team of the United Nations Police (UNPOL) Mr. Alexandrus Ursu stated that he believe Liberians should begin raising alarms by reporting and not partaking in harmful drug offenses. He added that harmful drugs usage does not solve problem regardless of how much of it is consumed.

The second session of the conference was categorize by comprehensive working sessions that drafted a common position of Liberian youths. The delegates at the event reviewed the document and later adopted and endorsed it as the Liberian Youth Common Position on Drug Prevention. The communique was officially read after endorsement by Boakai Kamara of Gbarpolu County.

In his closing remarks, the deputy director of COYPED, Joseph F. Wiah Jr. commended the delegates for taking up their time to form part of a group that believe it is time that the issue of drug prevention in Liberia be taken serious.

The COYPED official also stated that the Liberian Youth Common Position on Drug Prevention will be the first major advocacy tool for young people to use in holding their leaders accountable as it relates to substance abuse.

The event brought together youth and student representatives from the 15 counties, international organizations, Government officials, CSOs, substance users and the media.

Youth conference Liberie
Under the direction of Robert L. DuPont, MD and A. Thomas McLellan, PhD, in March 2017 the Institute for Behavior and Health (IBH) convened a meeting of leaders in addiction treatment, health care, insurance, government and research to discuss the scope and implications of the historic 2016 Surgeon General’s Report Facing Addiction in America. The Surgeon General, VADM Vivek H. Murthy, MD, was an active participant in the meeting.

In the brief report issued by IBH, Drs. DuPont and McLellan summarize the core elements of the meeting discussion and recommendations:
- Supporting the recommendations in the 2016 Surgeon General’s Report, the group agreed that addiction is a serious chronic illness and promoted the development of a modern continuum of public health care for addiction.
- The group specified that abstinence is an achievable, high-value outcome, both for prevention and treatment.
- The group recognized the paucity of current models for systematic integration of addiction treatment and general healthcare.
- The group encouraged the identification of promising models and the promotion of innovation to achieve the goal of sustained recovery, defined as no use of any alcohol or illegal drugs other than medicines that are prescribed and monitored to sustain recovery. 

The report can be found here.

For more information about IBH visit www.ibhinc.org.
The Consolidated Youth for Peace & Development (COYPED) a registered non-for Profit youth-led organization and partners has launched the Peer Education Program for Alcohol & Drug Prevention among Young People in Liberia Project.

COYPD
Speaking at the launch of the project on March 24, 2017 in the conference room of the YMCA in Monrovia, COYPED’s Executive Director, James Koryor stated that UNODC, in collaboration with The ECOWAS Commission, is implementing a regional project to “Support the ECOWAS Regional Action Plan on illicit drug trafficking, related organized crime and drug abuse in West Africa” and that the project is fully funded by the European Union.

Mr. Koryor stressed that as part of the project implementation, UNODC, ECOWAS and the EU announce a call for proposals in support of innovative and pilot prevention initiatives in Burkina Faso, Liberia, Mauritania and Sierra Leone.
The COYPED boss further that it was against this backdrop that his organization was awarded a grant through a regional competitive process to implement the Peer Education Program for Alcohol and Drug Prevention amongst young People in Liberia Project.

The project is a peer education engagement to prevent substance use amongst young people in Liberia, stressing that the primary goal of the project is to equip young people to be able to develop, adopt and sustain healthy attitudes and behaviours towards a drug free Liberia targeting Montserrado, Bong, Nimba and Grand Bassa Counties.

Mr. Koryor further that the Programs will also target youth and adolescent involved with harmful substance used. These programs will basically focus on awareness creation, training and peer counselling so as to discourage and minimize drug abuse among substance users and will also encourage and involve families and communities in the development and implementation of community based prevention strategies in the Project selected counties to ensure that the project is sustained.

Serving as keynote speaker, Montserrado County’s District#9 Representative at the 53rd National Legislature, Munah Pelham-Youngblood cautioned Liberian youth to be agents of change in combating drugs in the country.
“We are stronger than what they say we are, we killed the war, we slaughtered EBOLA and with togetherness, we can destroy drugs before it destroys us, therefore, let’s use concerted efforts if Liberia, our common patrimony must be a drug free society not only for us, but for our children and the generations to come,” Representative Youngblood said at the YMCA.

Speaking on the theme; “Making Liberia a Drug Free Society,” she told the youth and students, drawn from several schools and communities within Monrovia that some people at the international level see them as shippers of cocaine, users of marijuana, slaves to drugs, sex and alcohol. They say you are good for nothing, corrupt with large criminal activity, they also see you as significant potential for money laundering and armed robberies, yes, they even call you rapists, their views towards you may be wrong or right but what name will you want the society to call you, she wonders rhetorically. 

Also speaking was the Political Officer of European Delegation in Liberia, Madam Emma Sunblad. She said the EU is pleased to identify with the Project due to its strict adherence to drug and alcoholic prevention in Liberia. Pledging her entity’s supports to future program, Madam Sunblad asserted that this project that is intended to make the country a drug free society is a further manifestation of a much stronger ties between Liberia and the European Union.

Representing ECOWAS’ Ambassador to Liberia, Nathaniel Walker commended COYPED for organizing such unique program that is geared towards the future of Liberia. He said like him, many Liberians are craving for a day that Liberia will be a drug free country where young people will play positive role in the society.

For his part, the National Project Officer of UNODC, William Thompson, said as the future of Liberia depends on the youth, they must be prepared to deny themselves certain social activities if they must be regarded as flag bearers tomorrow.
He called for the togetherness of every Liberian regardless of belonging if we must live in a society where law and order must the norms of the day, adding, the future is at hand. He used the occasion to call on the Liberian Government to give the Liberian Drug Enforcement Agency, LDEA, much needed budgetary support if the Agency must live by its Constitutional mandate.

Adding his voice, Assistant Minister for Planning, Research, and Development at the Ministry of Education, Saa David Nyumah challenged the larger society to take its role much more seriously as the campaign to rid the Liberian society of illicit is everyone’s concern. He called on authority concerned to take the fight against the spread of illicit drug to every school in the country in order for students and youth to realize the danger involved in drug abuse.

Launching the Project, Deputy Youth and Sports Minister for Youth Development, Lance Gbagonyon lauded the COYPED family for the Project and called on the youth to realize the importance of resisting the danger of drug. He reminded them that time waits for no man or woman, the type of life one initiates today will definitely speak for said person in the not too distance future, stressing, Liberia needs you to present her case before peers on the table of competitive political bickering.

Advancing his points was the President of the Federation of Liberia youth, FLY, Augustine Tamba. He said the vulnerability of the society in today’s Liberia is not only due to lack of logistics, but sincerity on the part of drug enforcers.
The FLY’s boss stressed that as soon as an alleged drug pusher is arrested, placed behind bars, in few days time, said culprit is seen on the streets pushing more quantity at times in the presence of enforcers with impunity.
He noted that if Liberia is to be a drug free society that every Liberian craves, collective effort must be the order of the day. 

The Speaker of the Mano River Union Youth Parliament and the President of the Press Union of Liberia where amongst special guest that graced the occasion. The event brought together over one hundred participants including officials of government, international and national NGOs, youth and student groups, substance users and the media.
Welcome to the 3rd edition of Drug Free Australia's update on Drug Prevention.jo

Shockingly, Australia remains one of the highest illicit drug using countries (per capita) in the world. Ice and stimulants like ecstasy are the main contributors to the bourgeoning community problems we are all facing. Smoked cannabis/marijuana is also a high contender - adding to our burden of disease and mental health issues.

With new and highly toxic substances now appearing on our streets (such as carfentanyl found in Brisbane in mid-February) we need urgent LONG TERM action to increase prevention education for our children and youth, (as well as for parents, teachers and frontline health workers). Take a look at this article http://www.9news.com.au/national/2017/02/17/12/28/one-touch-death-drug-seized-in-qld

Surely, if we can reduce tobacco use through continuous campaigns such as QUIT, and prevent our kids from getting skin cancer, with the SUN SMART campaign, we can do so much more to combat these highly poisonous drugs!

What’s happening with drug education in schools?
Drug Free Australia is planning to survey schools across the nation to find out the current status of drug and alcohol education including
• what programs schools are providing,
• how effective they are
• what issues are being addressed and how the programs are helping?
DFA is also keen to find out from schools that are NOT providing drug prevention and alcohol awareness programs, and WHY they may not be able to do so.
We will be partnering with other non-government organisations in this survey and will keep you posted. In so doing we will be able to provide a profile of drug education that IS WORKING in schools and communities over the coming months.

One Pill Can Kill - Teens’ hard hitting anti-drugs video goes viral
An anti-drugs film produced by a group of Co Antrim teenagers has gone viral, racking up almost half a million views. The graphic movie, entitled ‘One Pill Can Kill’, shows the deadly consequences of taking just one drug from a dealer.
Brooke Thompson from the Rathcoole-based group said they wanted to get their message to a wider audience - and they have certainly been successful, drawing in viewers from across America, Canada and England.

"I'm just hoping everyone understands how dangerous drugs can be and we've changed the community," said Brooke. http://www.itv.com/news/utv/update/2017-02-25/ni-teens-hard-hitting-anti-drugs-video-goes-viral/

Signs of a Meth Lab:
Although Methamphetamine (ICE) can be cooked in many different locations there are certain warning signs that may indicate their presence. They can be found in almost any location, from houses, apartments, cars, rental storage units and motorhomes. Some of the common warning signs of a suspected meth lab include:
• Strong odours (acrid, sour, ammonia, solvents, pungent)
• Windows covered with foils or plastics
• Renters who pay landlords cash
• Excessive trash and rubbish, evidence of chemical waste
• Unusual structures, curtains always drawn or windows covered with aluminium foil  
• Increased activity, especially at night
• Discolouration of structures, soil and pavement or driveway
• Increased security systems or other devices
For more information go to: http://methlabs.com.au/signs-of-a-meth-lab/

Just what does Prevention mean when related to illicit drugs?
Australia remains one of the highest illicit drug using countries (per capita) in the world, according to the United Nation’s World Drug Report. Prevention is usually the highest priority in most public health policies. We have already mentioned the success of the Sun Smart campaign to prevent skin cancer and QUIT to stop people smoking tobacco.

However, so far as illicit drugs are concerned, there is often a more ‘complex’ argument put forward – an argument that can serve to compromise the urgent need to prevent our kids from taking drugs in the first place. 
It will help to look at the definitions of prevention, used by most countries, in line with the United Nations Drug Control Conventions. Perhaps then, we can give top priority in this country, to an effective, sustained Prevention Policy.

The United National Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC)’s definition of ‘primary prevention’ is: ‘A way of preventing the initiation of psychoactive substance or delaying the age at which use begins. https://www.unodc.org/pdf/globalinitiative/initiative_activities_workbook.pdf

According to the UNODC and the World Health Organisation: ‘The primary prevention approach is key for responding to substance use among young people before they start using substances. In addition, this strategy could help to discourage or stop use in those who are already experimenting or using.

Primary Prevention is key to Demand Reduction. (If we reduce demand, we reduce the market for illicit drugs).
The term "drug demand reduction" is used to describe policies or programmes directed towards reducing the consumer demand for narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances covered by the international drug control conventions ….
Demand reduction programmes should cover all areas of prevention, from discouraging initial use to reducing the negative health and social consequences of drug abuse. They should embrace information, education, public awareness, early intervention, counselling, treatment, rehabilitation, relapse prevention, aftercare and social reintegration. Early help and access to services should be offered to those in need. http://www.un.org/ga/20special/demand.htm

Another UN source, which further explains the levels of Prevention and the importance of Demand Reduction:
• The term “demand reduction” refers to all activities aimed at reducing demand for drugs and includes primary, secondary and tertiary prevention.
• Demand reduction efforts should be integrated into broader social welfare and health promotion policies and preventive education programmes.
• Health promotion and primary, secondary and tertiary prevention together contribute to the overall aim of reducing problems associated with drug use.
• Primary prevention is directed at populations not currently using or not seriously involved with drugs. Such populations are much larger than those targeted by secondary and tertiary prevention; hence their potential for reducing rates of drug use in a jurisdiction is significant.. Primary prevention promotes the non-use of drugs and is aimed at preventing or delaying the first use of drugs and the transition to more serious use of drugs among occasional users. Most drug use begins during adolescence and early adulthood, when young people are developing cognitively and socially. For that reason, primary prevention is mainly directed at those life stages and those before them.
• Secondary prevention measures are aimed at reaching early those individuals who are seriously involved with drugs but are not dependent on drugs.

For more go to: http://www.incb.org/documents/Publications/AnnualReports/AR2009/AR_09_E_Chapter_I.pdf
For examples of Prevention that works, go to Drug Policy Futures : http://drugpolicyfutures.org/publications/

DFA
WFAD Regional Conference held in Nairobi Kenya

Deb Nya
By Deborah Nyambu, Nurture Smart Youth Program Kenya

I recently had the privilege of attending a Regional Conference hosted by World Federation Against Drugs, WFAD, in Nairobi Kenya.

The two day conference held on 10th and 11th of February was well organized depicting the amount of work that was put in by the organizers to make it a success.

The conference doors opened with welcome remarks from the Secretary General, Ms Linda Nilsson who was also the day’s moderator. A succession of speakers then followed with a brief discussion on the UNGASS outcome document, starting with the International President of WFAD, Mr. S Carlsson followed by remarks from Mr. Victor Okioma, the CEO NACADA. Mr. George Ochieng, the Executive Director of Slum Child Foundation emphasized on the need for prevention, education, treatment, recovery and integration work being done by the civil society and for the need to move these efforts to the next level.
Creative illustrations were put across by Mr. Fayzal Sulliman, the Program Coordinator, UNODC Regional Office for Eastern Africa while touching on the subject of prevention. Ms. Jenna Philippe then gave us an elaborate illustration on development link to Vienna NGO Market place. A lot of knowledge was imparted here including the fact that the NGO Market place increases visibility of NGO’s work showcasing the successes of an organization. This facilitates achievement of overall organizational goals as well as helps bridge the impact gap!

Having enjoyed a scrumptious meal over the lunch hour, the afternoon began on a high note with Mr. Patrick Okwarah, the Coordinator of community Anti-Drug Coalitions of Kenya taking us through Community prevention in Kenya. We were enlightened on the importance of coalitions and how they combine talent and resources to engage communities in the sub-counties they work with.
Uganda Youth Development Executive Director Mr. Rodgers Kasirye reminded participants of the need to not only share information but also keep records and documentation of projects and programs being undertaken by organizations. In order to comply and Keep up to speed with international standards participants were encouraged to maintain the good practice of documenting activities and also embracing a reading culture to keep up-to-date with the latest developments.

Mr. Boro Goic, the Chair of Recovered Users Network took us through a very elaborate talk on the importance of recovery oriented drug policies and emphasized on the need to support recovery efforts by addressing specific needs of the whole person, their family members and community.

A couple of speakers then briefly touched on different topics these being; Paul Mburu, Real Mentor Soberlife Mentorship Society, Pamela Masese, Assistant Director Probation & Aftercare Services and Antony Kangethe from Asumbi Treatment Center. Emphasis here was supporting and enhancing recovery efforts to ensure strengthened transformed individuals, families and communities.NURSYPK LogoOne of the participants, Dr. Jennifer Kimani, thanked WFAD for the work they are doing and especially so for bringing the conference to Nairobi, Kenya.

The conference was truly superb and left us all inspired, motivated and ready to tackle prevention, treatment and recovery efforts in our various fields to a higher level!

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