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Before We Step Up to the Starting Line

A year has passed and we are ready with the new training course for the participants of “Enhancing Cooperation as Part of an Effective Demand Reduction Strategy Based on the Israel Anti-Drug Authority’s Model” in joint collaboration with the Israeli Anti-Drug Authority.

The “war against drugs “ continues and some say we are losing, and therefore a change in the way we see things is necessary. Illegal drugs are now cheaper and purer globally than at any time over the last 20 years. The International Center for Science in Drug Policy suggests that we should: "… implement policies that place community health and safety at the forefront of our efforts, and consider drug use a public health issue rather than a criminal justice issue." [1]

The War on Drugs requires new approaches, such as decriminalization and strict legal regulation, more information available to the public and a better understanding of the health problems that drugs can cause. 

Regarding discrimination, Uruguay and Portugal provide great examples. Uruguay's House of Representatives has passed a bill legalizing cannabis. Under the proposed law, which still needs to be approved by the Senate, only the government could sell the drug. In Portugal, people caught with drugs can avoid punishment if they agree to treatment

The 2013 UNODC global awareness campaign "Make health your 'new high' in life, not drugs” aims to inform the public, particularly young people, about the harmful effects of new psychoactive substances (NPS).http://www.unodc.org/drugs/

The Chief of the Drug Prevention and Health Branch at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Dr. Gilberto Gerra, stated during the International Symposium on Drugs: From Coercion to Cohesion in Brazil last September:

"Disorders related to drug use should be recognized as health problems and treated like any other disease," 


During the training course the participants will learn, experience and share elements of the Israeli approach. A challenging training course is around the corner, and we are ready. All that remains is to wait for the starting gun and make the most of this training course. 

Dr. Gilberto Gerra will lecture during the next training course together with Ms. Giovanna Campello, Programme Management Officer, UNODC Prevention, Treatment and Rehabilitation Section.