Policy on Drug Use
Our vision is a democratic, diverse and peaceful world, where any individual can live up to their full potential, free from alcohol and other drugs.
Under the scope of this policy, the word drug refers to substances controlled under the various United Nations Conventions on Narcotic Drugs as well as new psychoactive substances (NPS) which may mimic the effects of controlled substances and which may be referred to as legal highs, designer drugs, herbal highs, synthetic drugs or research chemicals.
Active`s concern is for the wellbeing and development of young people and children. As part of this concern we support preventative approaches which support young people to lead lives free from the damaging impact of drug use. There are four main aspects to drug use:
- Social aspect
The use of drugs has health and social implications for the user as well as wider impacts on friends and family. Drug use is correlated with a wide range of physical and psychological harm, drug addiction, road traffic accidents, poor educational achievements, reduced employment opportunities and relationship problems.
- Economic aspect
Drug usage increases health costs, absenteeism at work and crime associated with the illegal narcotics market. In this regard, the investment and monitoring of evidence-based drug prevention programmes, which help to offset these economic costs, are insufficient.
- Medical aspect
Although the impact of drug use depends on each specific substance, it can lead to a wide range of physical effects from agitation, to serious cardiac events, to addiction, psychological harm and to death.
Even the most common drugs carry a harmful effect especially when used during pregnancy or during adolescence.
- Legislative and political aspect
Governments are occupied with the various impacts of drug use, such as higher healthcare costs, decreased economic productivity, and increased crime and social instability.
A problem with certain systems is that they require each substance to be individually classified as illegal, enabling producers to make minor changes to the substance (NPS) and thus be exempt from previous legal classifications.
5. Action points
Active commits itself by participating in decision-making processes on a local, national and international level.
- Drug-free youth activities and environments where any individual can live up to their full potential.
- Opportunities for children and young people to feel supported in living a drug-free lifestyle.
- Opportunities for children in families with alcohol and other drug-related problems to get in contact with people who can help and support them.
- Active provides information, through campaigns, seminars and publications, about drug use and its related effects.
Active advocates for:
1) Safe environments
- Safe environments with opportunities for children and young people to develop a drug-free lifestyle
- All schools, cultural and sports events and activities where children and young people are present should be free of alcohol and other drugs and the marketing of such substances.
2) A stronger focus on prevention
- Governments must ensure that evidence-based prevention programmes are well funded and implemented.
- Every school must have a drug policy and work closely with parents regarding their involvement in this issue.
- All youth organisations, as providers of non-formal education, should have a drug-free policy.
- Treatment for users should be free and easily accessible.
- Every treatment facility should have a support group for the family and friends of users to provide advice and support.
- The government should secure the well-being of the affected children by providing advice, counselling safe environments and proactive support.
- Becoming drug free should be seen as the goal of drug treatment and services should be designed with this in mind through the provision of a holistic treatment and rehabilitation model which supports wider social integration as well as the individual's potential for freedom, better health and general wellbeing.
4) Law enforcement
- No one should be a subject of power abuse and should not be subjected to unconstitutional searches or other invasive actions by police and other people in authority.
- In regard to the possession of drugs, especially among children and young people, ACTIVE supports a social rehabilitation and community service approach. Fines and imprisonment should be reserved for those involved in the illicit drug trade such as traffickers, dealers and producers.
- No drugs should be legalised.
- Every new drug (NPS) should be placed under a temporary banning order until a full risk assessment has taken place.