United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)

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1 United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Moderator: Juan Pablo Yga Director: Patricio Williams Secretary: Andrea Cisneros Topic B: Decreasing drug abuse among minors Description of Committee: The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, also known as the UNODC, is a leader in the global fight against illegal drugs and international crime. Established in 1997 through a merger between the United Nations Drug Control Program and the Centre for International Crime Prevention, UNODC operates in all regions of the world through an extensive network of field offices. 1 The UNODC is highly involved, but not limited to the following objectives: Organized crime and trafficking: with the problem of the instability and insecurity caused by crimes like the smuggling of illicit drugs, weapons, natural resources, counterfeit goods and human beings between countries and continents, UNODC helps Governments to react while also addressing emerging forms of crime, such as cybercrime, trafficking in cultural artifacts and environmental crime. Drug abuse prevention and health: The UNODC makes campaigns based on scientific findings to try to convince the youth that the use of illicit drugs can be very harmful to your health in many ways. Corruption: Corruption is a major impediment to economic and social development. UNODC partners with the public and private sectors, as well as civil society, to loosen the grip that corrupt individuals have on governments, national borders and trading channels. In recent years, the Office has stepped up its efforts to help Nation s recover assets stolen by corrupt officials.

2 Crime prevention and criminal justice reform: UNODC makes sure that all the rules, conduct standards are followed so that the people that have committed the crimes or the victims can trust that the criminal justice system is fair and based on values and human right norms. UNODC also promotes that there is a strong sense of law that gives confidence amongst citizens. Introduction to Topic: Drug abuse prevention and health: Through educational campaigns and by basing its approach on scientific findings, UNODC tries to convince the youth not to use illicit drugs. Drug-dependent people to seek treatment and Governments to see drug use as a health problem, not a crime. UNODC launches campaigns to raise awareness of drugs and crime problems. One example that is relevant to this topic is Do drugs control your life? - World Drug Campaign. This campaign focuses on informing people about drug addiction and another major part of the campaign is that they also help people of all ages get out of their addictions by providing free rehabilitation centers. Teen s use of any illicit drug has generally declined over the past two decades globally. During the past year of use, the consumption of illicit drugs for all grades combined was 27.2 percent in 2014, which declined from its peak at 34.1 percent in The MTF survey also shows a decline in the perceived availability of most substance over the past few years, including powder cocaine, crystal methamphetamine, and prescription painkillers. Despite these improvements, the use of marijuana has remained stable throughout the past decades. Most studies show that teenage drug use increases from 8th to 12th grade (Where it reaches its peak).

3 2 Many teens begin drug use because of various factors. The main one being insecurity and the desire for social acceptance. Teens often feel indestructible and might not consider the consequences of their actions, leading them to take dangerous risks such as abusing legal or illegal drugs. This can be stopped by raising awareness through campaigns as UNODC is and has being doing for many years. Extra Information on Topic:

4 *Teen Drug Use* 3 4 Questions to Think About: Since teens in the streets have a substantially higher percentage of drug use than teens in households, how can you make sure solutions work for both parties?

5 Seeing that people raised in poverty are more likely to deal drugs because it provides a substantial amount of income, what will be your solution towards this issue? Background Information 14 Addiction occurs when repeated use of drugs changes how a person s brain functions over time. Drugs cause a change one s ability to choose or neglect something (a natural brain function) that keep a person from losing control of themselves over the need to use drugs even when there are negative consequences. Early experiences such as suffering from physical and emotional abuse or other traumas are an important factor to these changes in a person's ability to resist and addiction. Teenagers with a background of physical and/or sexual abuse are more likely to become addicted to damaging substances such as Marijuana, Heroin, Cocaine or even more common drugs like Alcohol and Cigarettes "Teen users are at significantly higher risk of developing an addictive disorder compared to adults, and the earlier they began using, the higher their risk. Nine out of 10 people who meet the clinical criteria for substance use disorders involving nicotine, alcohol or other drugs began smoking, drinking or using other drugs before they turned 18. People who begin using any addictive substance before age 15 are six and a half times as likely to develop a substance use disorder as those who delay use until age 21 or older (28.1 percent vs. 4.3 percent). 6 It is important to explain the previous information and the relation that age had to do with the percent of drugs being consumed by minors. We can infer from the information that drugs are chemicals that affect the brain, triggering addictive conduct, especially when the brain is not fully developed. In countries like america (stated by the CASACOLUMBIA website) drug use amongst minors a #1 public health problem. 7 Current Situation on the Topic 12 Each year, the MTF measures the consumption of drugs, alcohol and tobacco related to students in grades 8 th, 10 th and 12 th. The MTF stated that in 2012 the consumption of Marijuana (which is one of the most popular drugs between teenagers) in adolescence has decreased since the 90s and until the start of the 21 st century, but it has been growing ever since. Marijuana affects teenagers in their academic lives as well as their social behaviours. If adolescents are affected in their academic lives at such a young age, it can trigger (not only health problems) future problems in their respective working field 13 As mentioned in the article above, Marijuana is the most consumed drug between teenagers and can also be the most harmful. Marijuana is considered a gateway to other drugs. Meaning that being addicted to Marijuana can make you addicted to all types of drugs and substances. Early exposure to marijuana can also make people need or enjoy drugs more than someone who got involved with this drug later in their life. 8

6 International Action in the Topic 15 Countries from all around the world are suffering from this problem, and something is being made done about it. Other countries are using prevention programs and campaigns to reduce the amount of drug users around the world. There are campaigns and research based programs all around the world that help this problem be solved. The main problem in a lot of countries is the addiction of drugs and there is no definite way of solving it, because cartels and drug producers are hard to take down. Every time someone is taken down, someone else rises and takes its place. For example, here in Mexico, the economy is not that great, so there is a lot of drug trafficking happening and the government cannot evade it. Each time the cartels are growing stronger and the police cannot do anything about it. Also, USA is the country with the most drug trafficking occurs. Even though it is a developed country, the government is not strong enough to stop all of the drug producers. This problem is a worldwide problem that countries have suffered for a very long time. Another problem that some countries face are legalizing marijuana. This encourages the consumption of drugs since people that consume it do not even have to do it without breaking the law.

7 Recommendations For Creating Resolutions 11 One of the best ways to decrease drug abuse is with prevention programs. Preventing something is better than trying to fix it. Before this events happen, we can create awareness programs in educational campaigns and helping with advice. Prevention programs have shown that they are effective since they have the power to convince people about a certain topic. For example, making prevention programs for kids can help them evade drugs when they grow up. If the person is already involved in drugs, some campaigns and rehabilitation programs can be taught to these people to end their addiction. These programs are cheap and can help a lot. For example, in drug prevention programs, they can teach you about all of the consequences of drug addiction. If the addiction is already happening, rehabilitation is the best solution that can be provided for the person. The person should be assigned to a professional to be treated and for the addiction to be cured. Can research-based programs prevent drug addiction in youth? Research based programs can prevent drug addiction, since a survey is done and based on the results of the survey the programs can identify where the drug addiction is happening, and with that information they can make prevention programs in certain places to prevent more people to get addicted to any type of drugs. This prevention programs can be done publicly and also privately, like in public campaigns or in schools.

8 How do research-based prevention programs work? These programs work by making surveys somewhere about something in specific. After they gather up all the information, they identify if there is a problem or if something is not right. Then, they try to resolve or at least try to decrease it. In this case, they make surveys about drug consuming and how many people use it and in what place it is most commonly used. After that, they try to decrease it by having rehabilitation programs. They also try to prevent the problem for younger people by creating prevention programs. Are all prevention programs effective in reducing drug abuse? Most of the prevention programs are effective and work by convincing people to do the right thing. Prevention programs also depend on the person, like its gender, age, and personality. The prevention program does reduce the amount of people because it tells you the risks about using drugs and how if affects your body. And because the main purpose of the prevention programs is to decrease the amount of persons that consume drugs, they do them frequently in places that most need it. 1 United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. (n.d.). Retrieved November 1, 2015, from 2 High School and Youth Trends. (n.d.). Retrieved November 1, 2015, from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/high-schoolyouth-trends 3 High School and Youth Trends. (n.d.). Retrieved November 1, 2015, from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/high-schoolyouth-trends 4 Drug Abuse Among Runaway and Homeless Youths Calls for Focused Outreach Solutions. (n.d.). Retrieved November 1, 2015, from https://archives.drugabuse.gov/nida_notes/nnvol12n3/runaway.html 5 Tasklistinterval3. (n.d.). Retrieved November 3, 2015, from https://docs.google.com/document/d/18xdk- YU9u4f1GuPmURjHOR2zLsRE0J7Uqqm7zABbIbI/edit?usp=sharing 6 (n.d.). Retrieved November 3, 2015, from eq.dpuf

9 7 Adolescent Substance Use: America's #1 Public Health Problem. (n.d.). Retrieved November 3, 2015, from 8 Tendencias de los estudiantes de la secundaria y otros jóvenes. (n.d.). Retrieved November 3, 2015, from 9 Drug Abuse. (n.d.). Retrieved October 6, 2015, from 10 United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. (n.d.). Retrieved October 6, 2015, from https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/prevention/ 11 Preventing Drug Abuse: The Best Strategy. (n.d.). Retrieved October 6, 2015, from 12 Drug Facts: Adolescents. (2014, February 4). Retrieved October 2, 2015, from GF.dpbs 13 Which drugs are most frequently used by teenagers? (2014). Retrieved October 6, 2015, from 14 Drug Facts: Nationwide Trends. (2015, June 1). Retrieved October 6, 2015, from 15 Narconon Activities Around the World. (n.d.). Retrieved November 3, 2015, from

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