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Family-oriented policies in drug prevention

Family-oriented policies in drug prevention

Vienna -

During the Sixty-third session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, UNICRI, in collaboration with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) and the Pompidou Group of the Council of Europe will organize the side event “Family-oriented policies in drug prevention.” The event will take place on 2 March at the Vienna International Centre (Room M7) from 13:00 to 13:50 and will focus on the policies, practices and interventions that have proven to exert a positive impact on the prevention of drug use within the family context.

Considering the scale and the evolution of drug consumption modalities, it is crucial to identify adequate resources available to family members for early detection of risk behaviors and to provide them with access to evidence based psychological and health care interventions for their relatives. Evidences show the role families can play not only in creating the conditions for the onset of drug use, but also, in preventing it and in supporting the recovery process. In this regard, the collaboration between families and professionals has been recognized as one of the most effective strategies in the prevention and the recovery processes.

Structural or social barriers may prevent families from accessing health and social services dedicated to drug use prevention and treatment. Stigmatization, little information about available services and lack of adequate financial and socio-cultural resources are other factors that create barriers preventing families’ involvement in support programs. In developing countries, further obstacles also include economic insecurity, geographical distance or unavailability of services.

Further research could shed light on how to enhance the positive role families play and on the interventions that have proven to be effective and sustainable for family responsive policies and practices, as well as in the creation of pathways to young people's resilience and recovery within the systems of services.

Through a research study, UNICRI is identifying what significant role families could play in the prevention of drug use and in the creation of pathways to young people's resilience and recovery within the system of services. By adopting a context-specific and people-centred approach, the pilot study aims to identify both the common and culturally unique elements that can support families in getting more actively involved with social and health services and with the community at large, with the aim of protecting future generations from drugs. The side event will also aim at identifying what stakeholders consider as essential policy elements in supporting and consolidating the role of families, including building an efficient system of services responsive to their needs.