Vienna - Press Release World Drug Day 2014
It All Starts With Drug-Free Childhood
Prevention of Narcotic Drug problems means empowering children and giving them a fair chance of living the lives they dream of
On World Drug Day, IOGT International stands with UNODC and its World Drug Campaign.
“World Drug Day is a unique occasion to take a stand – together – against a problem that affects everyone. Illicit drugs threaten the health and welfare of people worldwide,” says Mr. Esbjörn Hörnberg, Executive Director of IOGT International, the largest global non-governmental organization with members promoting a lifestyle free from alcohol and other drugs.
Up to 200,000 people die every year due to Narcotic drugs. Narcotic drugs do not just affect the user. They cause tremendous hardship and misery to children, families, communities and societies. Narcotic drugs undermine close relationships, and can ruin education and employment opportunities. Narcotic drug use and trafficking are not only a burden on public health, but also threaten global stability and socio-economic development world wide.
“Narcotic drugs are a Human Rights issue and especially a Child Rights issue. Narcotic drugs expose children to unhealthy environments, neglect and abuse, higher risks for early onset of substance use and violate their fundamental right to grow up safely,” says Mr. Hörnberg.
“That’s why it is so important to focus on prevention. Prevention of Narcotic drug problems means empowering children and giving them a fair chance of living the lives they dream of.”
The “International Standards on Drug Use Prevention” show: For every one Dollar spent on prevention, at least ten Dollars can be saved in future health, social and crime costs.
The most successful approaches in Narcotic drug use prevention involve the critical role of families, schools, and communities to build on protective factors to ensure safe and healthy childhood and adolescent years and to provide viable and legitimate livelihoods for adults.
“IOGT International supports UNODC in its efforts to tackle the global burden of Narcotic drugs,” explains Mr. Hörnberg. “An effective and balanced approach includes measures focusing on prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and social cohesion.”
“In the way we work with prevention, it is much more than just the absence of harmful substances,” highlights Mr. Hörnberg.
“It’s about empowering children in safe and free environments to live healthy lives, find their true passions, follow their dreams and become active members of their communities.”