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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.

 

About UNICRI Expertise

UNICRI has been working on drug related problems for many years, having supported the Department of Anti-Drug Policy of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers in the implementation of specific actions, in line with the National Anti-Drug Plan. Within the framework of the MEDNET of the Council of Europe, UNICRI has implemented the Women Alcohol and Drug Network (DAWN project) by creating an international network for the promotion of specific offers addressed to women for the prevention of risks related to the use of alcohol, drugs and associated diseases and the alignment of welfare services to the specific needs of women. The project developed advanced concepts and innovative approaches still inspiring the creation of other networks and becoming an important point of reference for the national and international entities in term of research and practices.

UNICRI participated in the work of the Task Group within the High-Level Committee on Programmes (HLCP) and the Chief Executives Board (CEB), for the preparation of the UN System common position paper on drug policies, which informed the discussion of the Ministerial Conference of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna in March 2019.