UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs online side event discussing emerging and established responses for prevention of drug use and harms presented in April 2021.
Organized by the New Zealand Drug Foundation with the support of Canada, and the Centre on Drug Policy Evaluation, the Eurasian Harm Reduction Association (EHRA) and Youth Organisations for Drug Action.
Eliza Kurcevič - Moderator - Senior Program Officer, Eurasian Harm Reduction Association
Eliza began this side event by defining primary (preventing drug use) and secondary (preventing harms from drug use) prevention.
Irena Molnar - Foundation Council Member, Youth Organisations for Drug Action
Irena shared findings from a report assessing drug education in five countries – including that overdose prevention and health, social, and harm reduction services were rarely covered – and showed videos featuring youth speaking about what works and does not work in drug education.
Ben Birks Ang - Deputy Executive Director - Programmes, New Zealand Drug Foundation
Ben presented on Tūturu, a systems change project helping schools build core health knowledge among students applicable across topics, rather than only drugs, and move away from punishment towards support for those that use drugs.
Dr. Dan Werb - Executive Director, Centre on Drug Policy Evaluation
Dr. Werb discussed research findings from the PRIMER study including that scaling up harm reduction, like opioid agonist therapy, prevents the expansion of injection drug use. In closing, Bobby Chauhan highlighted the importance of addressing stigma in prevention and expressed the Government of Canada's strong support for harm reduction.
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This experience was shared by a young, queer Māori man as part of Rewired - a support group for men who have sex with men and use methamphetamine, run by the NZ Aids Foundation and NZ Drug Foundation.