France Speech to the Demand Reduction Round Table

‘The first form of risk reduction is never to start or experiment with substances. France entirely agrees with what was said by Sweden, we need to focus on parents. We should not be stigmatising young people as the only ones affected by drugs. How should we do this in practice? France is into a discussion on good parenting or at least better parenting. What are the duties and functions of adults in regards to parenting and problems. Young people thus far were being educated by their peers rather than by their parents but the word of parents, their authority, has an impact. Our studies show that where there are high levels of alcoholism there are more individuals that have never heard anything said on the subject of alchohol from their parents. At this round table, we came to note that some countries were far more advanced. Sweden has done a lot and yet other countries have made efforts to help. We need to be more ambitious. Of course public information campaigns are expensive but we could pool our efforts. Each individual country has a culture, has sensibilities, has awareness. But because of globalisation the messages disseminated in one place could also be disseminated in another. Perhaps the UNODC might draft a list of practice and guidance so that we could then disseminate good practice and circulate feedback from successful campaigns. At this point in time in France i’m in the process of deciding what our campaigns will be looking like on drugs and when you see what this costs you might wonder whether we should be spending so much money on this but these campaigns well designed could save money. This is an appeal, parents should be borne in mind more with education, but i would like to add a call to pool efforts more.’

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