UN Drugs Office to engage youth via social media to address substance abuse

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) on January 30, 2012 launched an initiative for young people, particularly teenagers, to utilize social media to discuss and act against substance abuse.

Through the social media platform Facebook, the UN Office said “young people will connect with each other from around the globe to discuss, share, inspire and learn from each other ways of promoting a healthy lifestyle free from drugs.”

The agency said in a statement that it will moderate the discussions and give guidance to planned activities through posting “monthly themes and sharing reliable sources of information on drug use prevention strategies.”

“This is the first time UNODC seeks to give such a clear role to young people to take action themselves rather than be passive targets of prevention activities provided through traditional prevention programmes,” said Gilberto Gerra, Chief of Drug Prevention and Health Branch of UNODC.

The agency noted that a number of young people participating in the initiative will be invited to attend the session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs to be held in 2012 to present their views regarding dealing with substance abuse and to learn about international drug policies.

By Ekow Quandzie

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