Join us for Drug Free America Foundation’s ‘Pathways to Prevention’ podcast as we engage stakeholders from across the drug demand reduction spectrum including government, academia, clergy, preventionists, treatment professionals, and persons in long-term recovery. Topics of discussion include current trends in the global substance use pandemic, strategies to reduce drug demand, and how to best adapt those strategies to the ever-shifting substance use landscape.
Project Venda: Keeping Kids S.A.F.E.
You know as well as we do, that in this increasingly challenging world, it takes a lot of effort to educate and empower children who belong to the marginalized, unrecognized and ignored segments. Our guest’s work has succeeded in creating socially responsive, self-reliant communities that work together to create safe environments for children as well as sustainable change through collective participation.
They catalyze social change by innovating and piloting model solutions that Governments and implementing agencies can replicate using our technical knowledge, in-depth understanding of the challenges and unique insights gleaned from fifteen years of dedicated work.
In Kerala, through Project VENDA, they have educated and empowered over 120,000 children to say a form “NO” to drugs and help them make responsible choices using a range of well-planned initiatives, which have been recognized by the United Nations Office of Drug and Crime (UNODC) as the best practice for evidence-based intervention. By 2024, they will positively impact the lives of half a million students in Kerala.
Project Venda websiteProject Venda FacebookProject Venda InstagramProject Venda YouTubeDrug Free America Foundation Links
The Sober Youth Project in the Democratic Republic of Congo
In this month's episode, we talk with Mr. Dandy Yela, the World Federation Against Drugs DRC Country Representative about their Sober Youth Project.
Stigmatisation and discrimination of persons who use substances is still an issue in the Democratic Republic of Congo and its capital city, Kinshasa. This is the case of youngsters, such as members of urban youth gangs – the kulunas. They are facing rejection and social exclusion and are being singled out, leading to urban violence and insecurity in Kinshasa neighborhoods. Unfortunately, DRC public services approach based on repression to fight this phenomenon has produced counterproductive consequences. It was more than necessary to develop a social approach focusing on prevention strategies to tackle the kuluna phenomenon while combatting drug use among this vulnerable social group.
Breaking cycles of violence should include appropriate psychosocial support strategies, including the reinforcement and restoration of family relations and social support mechanisms at community and society levels to support social inclusion and reintegration. Thus, to bring an appropriate response to the Kuluna phenomenon, WFAD has developed a three-year project that focuses particularly on mental health and psychosocial support services, including parental support groups. It offers recovery support, a socio-economic reintegration component, facilitating hope, reintegration, and sustainability of change among participants.
The Sober Youth project was officially launched in December 2020 and has already achieved tangible and visible results, such as mental and psychosocial support leading to the withdrawal from drugs and other psychoactive substances for almost 600 young people to date. Currently, the implementing partners are busy working on empowering all these young beneficiaries through jobs creation, trainings and income-generating activities.
Besides this, impacts on communities are evident with significant contributions to peace in families and social groups. The youth jobs were created fighting poverty and have made drinking water available to nearly 100,000 inhabitants in the municipalities of Makala, Selembao, and Kinshasa.
World Federation Against Drugs Website
Drug Free America Foundation Links
Demand reduction: The importance of coalition-building nationally and abroad
This month's guest is Carlton Hall, the Tony Robbins of community change. Join us as we discuss how the coalition model and Carlton's unique LEAD training system is applied domestically and abroad.
Carlton Hall is the President and CEO of Carlton Hall Consulting LLC, a multi-faceted, full-service consulting firm designed to provide customized solutions and enable measurable change for communities, organizations, families and individuals. Carlton spent twelve years with the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) serving in several leadership positions and including most recently, Acting Vice President, Training Operations, and Acting Director for CADCA's National Coalition Institute, responsible for the day to day operational oversight, design, and implementation of its premiere national training delivery system. Carlton also supported CADCA's International Programs in partnership with the US State Department's International Narcotics Law Enforcement division (INL), managing training programs in Kenya, South Africa, and Ghana. Carlton is one of the primary architects of CADCA's National Coalition Academy. The Academy, a year-long coalition development program, is designed to increase the effectiveness of communities in drug demand reduction producing population level outcomes.
Towards greater equity and inclusion in treatment and recovery
In this episode we speak with Regina Mattsson on how women are uniquely impacted by substance use in the developing world. We also discuss how we can work towards eliminating treatment barriers whilst strengthening approaches that create more inclusive environments in treatment and recovery for women and children.
Regina Mattsson is the Secretary General of WFAD and supported in the implementation of the WFAD 10-year strategic plan to focus particularly on Children’s Rights and Women. As Board Member of UN Women Sweden, Chair of UN Women Gothenburg, and Vice-Chair of GADIP (Gender and Development in Practice), Regina has long experience of women’s rights issues. Regina holds a Bachelor in Social Work and a Master in International Global Studies with focus on Gender issues and Conflict Resolution. Prior to engaging in the WFAD, Regina worked for the City of Gothenburg, Unit of Integration, supporting unaccompanied minors and refugee families arriving in Sweden.
That's no maple leaf: Marijuana policy north of the border with Pam McColl
In this month's episode we talk with Pam McColl about marijuana policy north of the border as well as the latest research on prenatal THC exposure. Pamela McColl is a Canadian publishing entrepreneur and advocate of children's issues and smoking cessation, best known for releasing a smoke-free version of the classic Twas The Night Before Christmas.
Episode 7: Drug demand reduction down under with Shane Varcoe
In this month's episode we meet with Shane Varcoe, Executive Director of the Dalgarno Institute. Join us as we discuss some of the more nuanced aspects of the global drug policy debate including drug use normalization and harm reduction in the Australian context.
Shane Varcoe is currently the Executive Director for the Dalgarno Institute (Coalition Of Alcohol & Drug Educators) a long standing Alcohol & Other Drugs (AOD), community based, not-for-profit, public interest coalition. As an AOD demand reduction/primary prevention advocate and specialist Affective domain educator, he is the architect of the ‘No Brainer’ alcohol and other drug education project, including the six DVD ‘I Wish I Never…’ secondary school curriculum. Initiated and oversaw development of BOUNCE BACK parent workshops, ‘B.O.W.I’ (Better Off Without it) sporting club AOD education program, ‘The Fence Builder’ and ‘Isabella’s List’ community action. Shane also created Greater Risk the 21 Be There Campaign around alcohol and young people, and now has Dalgarno Institute as the lead agency in a nationwide consortium looking at the youth alcohol misuse issue.
He has authored a number of papers along with paper The Most Effective Drug Pusher Ever – Permission. A précised edition published in The Journal of Global Drug Policy & Practice. Latest contributions to the sector literature include, Social Determinants and Substance Use, and Stigma, Drug Use – and the Proactive Contagions to Reduce Both.