ZOOMING IN ON UNGASS – Is Australia on Board with Drug Use Reduction & Prevention?
Monitoring National Progress in the Implementation of the UNGASS Outcome Document (2019-2029)
The 2016 UNGASS outcome document as an excellent menu for broad, balanced and evidence-based national drug policies. The critical issue now is to what extent the consensus from UNGASS and the broad menu of suggested interventions in the outcome document are reflected policy documents and practical interventions in the Member States. How will Australia and Oceania Fair in the vital Drug Use Reducing and Family/Community Building International focus.
1 NATIONAL POLICIES:
- Adopt a national, overarching drug policy document and revise this with regular intervals;
- Domesticate the most relevant recommendations from UNGASS in national policies.
2 REDUCE DRUG USE PREVALENCE:
- Define explicitly in national drug policies that reducing drug use prevalence or keeping these figures low is an overarching goal for policies and interventions;
- Establish monitoring systems for regular tracking of possible changes in prevalence figures or drug consumption patterns. Such systems should preferably have data for last year’s use, regular use and heavy use.
3 INVEST IN PREVENTION:
- In the era of the Sustainable Development Goals, make primary prevention the highest priority in national drug policies as it is ethically right, scientifically sound and economically smart;
- Use the International Standards on Drug Use Prevention to select the most effective interventions and thereby improve national prevention efforts;
- Allocate long-time funding for prevention programmes to ensure that they become sustainable over time. Prevention takes time, simply;
- Benefit from the competence that civil society organisations have in mobilizing communities and individuals and also benefit from good prevention programmes developed by these organisations.
4 PARENTS FOR PREVENTION:
- Make mobilization of and support to parents a central part of national drug policies;
- Establish a national programme and a national unit/clearinghouse for support to local parent initiatives;
- Integrate mobilization of parents as an important element in broader community programmes for protection of children and youth;
- Draw lessons from the many NGO programmes for good parenting and collaborate with these NGOs.