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What are the needs of families in preventing drug use among children and adolescents?

Pilot survey in Italy

Families can play a crucial role in facilitating the onset of drug use as well as in preventing it and in supporting the recovery process. The collaboration between families and professionals in this field is therefore one of the most effective elements.

Considering the scale and the evolution of drug consumption modalities, there is a need to identify adequate tools for families to prevent and recognize at-risk behaviors and possibly intervene if such behaviors result in drug use or in the progression towards substance use disorders.

To respond to such need, the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) is currently conducting a pilot survey with the aim to better understand the specific needs of families for the prevention of drug use and the treatment of drug dependence among young people. The pilot survey will be initially conducted in Italy.

Through this survey, and through the organization of focus groups, UNICRI wishes to give a voice to families and stakeholders (service providers), with the goal of developing a sound knowledge base to support the improvement of services addressed to families and to provide inputs for refining policies and strategies aimed at supporting and consolidating the role of families.

The methodology and tools developed in the framework of the project will be adapted for replication in two countries of the Middle East and North Africa Region (MENA) and then be made available to the Italian Department for Anti-Drugs for their possible adoption in other contexts.