Side Event: Youths-At-Risk: Targeted Interventions for Youths Who Abuse Drugs

Organized by Peru and Singapore, and Colombo Plan Drug Advisory Programme and UNODC Prevention, Treatment and Rehabilitation Section.

Singapore: Singapore’s approach to youth and prevention. In 2011/12, Singapore established an inter-ministry taskforce on drugs to review abuse situation, study trends and challenges, and recommend strategies. Recommended to review how we provide rehabilitation to youth. In terms of rehabilitation of use, have some processes that help monitor youth in reoffending. Youth abuses in Singapore will not go through the justice system or incur any criminal record. Youth abusers below 30 at 38%, mostly male, and methamphetamine is the drug of choice. Calibrated risk needs approach to rehabilitation framework for youth at low risk. Undergoing youth enhanced supervision in the community as well as receiving counselling and case work. Community-based rehabilitation centres are residential programs in which youth are allowed to continue their schoolwork and work to avoid disrupting protective factors, but also go back to centres for interventions. Program is high intensity. Most of our youth go through the youth enhanced program. In line with evidence-informed approach, we place emphasis on assessment of use. Objective of drug use assessment is extent of drug abuse, environmental factors, and motivations. We look at a myriad of factors including general risks and drug-related risks. Consequences of use as tool for prevention. Attitudes towards abuse and rehabilitation are part of risk assessment. Map our risk factors on an ecological model to see interrelationships between them. See factors from various levels, from individual to macro. Factors are significant to youth abusers in Singapore. Family support has major influence on youth. Recent legislation amendment to make attendance at counselling sessions mandatory for parents as well.

Centre of Narcotics Bureau: By saying no to drugs, they are saying yes to a better future for themselves.

Colombo Plan Drug Advisory Programme: Substance use prevention curriculum for youth. Columbo plan is also partnering with governments and organizations, beyond target groups. When we partner, we save resources and energy. First global youth forum in 2014 partnered with national rehabilitation centre in Abu Dhabi. Organization of American States partnered at most recent forum. Curriculum is based on introducing youth to knowledge and providing opportunities for prevention. Youth are the leaders of today and tomorrow, but when there are no opportunities for young people, these phrases have no significance. Youth must have a voice and be listened to.

Peru: Mostly a producer state. Coca leaf and cocaine. Most consumed substance among youth is alcohol. Second is cannabis. National strategy for fight against drugs promotes active participation of civil society. Supply reduction, alternative development, and demand reduction. For reducing demand, objective is to reduce consumption of legal and illegal drugs. From treatment perspective, need to improve access. Recently passed our mental health act. Considers new strategies including the institutionalization of mental healthcare reform. Community care model. Facilitates therapeutic work caused by consumption of psychoactive substances. Importance of orientations and counselling for low and moderate risk levels of consumption. Since last year, started to work on gender-based interventions. We also highlight that with the Columbo plan, as we are working on multi-actor therapies. Conduct workshops with multidisciplinary teams of doctors, nurses, and public health professionals. Strengthen the competencies of health teams. Strengthen and expand accessibility of services. Offer face to face interventions. Specialized psychologists. Much to do. With lack of resources, we are doing everything we can.

Giovanna Campello, Prevention, Treatment and Rehabilitation Section, Drug Prevention and Health Branch, UNODC: Youth Forum participants will be speaking in the plenary at 3. Indication that drug use spikes in adolescence. Majority of young people do not use drugs, but overall prevalence among them is higher than the general population in most regions of the world. Using in adolescence is often associated with mental health disorders and family dysfunction. Limited access to evidence-based treatment. Possible exploitation by organized crime into drug trade, drug-related violence, and recruitment into street gangs or violent extremist groups. International Standards for the Treatment of Drug Use Disorders and International Standards on Drug Use Prevention is a tool developed and tested by the World Health Organization around the world. If we have a case of kids that have started to use, looking at model of family therapy. Invited all the developers of family therapy to identify the core elements to develop a lighter version that is less complex to deliver. Treatment family training and implementation study package was developed. Family therapy is a psychosocial therapy with solid evidence. Family based vulnerability factors are at the basis of initiation of drug use, delinquency, teen pregnancy, school dropouts, violence, depression, and anxiety. Act on family to help youth. Will do a proper impact study on treatment family training later on.

Questions & Answers:

  • Do you plan to include harm reduction?
    • No, we consider harm prevention the best approach for our countries.
  • What age is youth?
    • Differs among member states.

 

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