Training Manual for Red Cross/Red Crescent …

… Peer Educators on Substance Abuse

A lot still needs to be done in any part of the world to combat drug abuse, a complex and multi-faceted phenomenon which increasingly contributes to human suffering.

Because this is the problem: drugs never bring happiness, but only suffering, incapacity to lead a decent life, diseases, often criminality and death.

The knowledge about this phenomenon, which is more and more relevant also in relation to the increasing spending capacity of all the continents, is still very limited both among public opinion and governments, with inadequate and often counterproductive strategies.

Violence against drug users, imprisonments, coercive degrading and humiliating treatments, disregard for the human rights of consumers, cause harms even worse than those caused by substance abuse.

It’s important that the International Movement of Red Cross and Red Crescent, everywhere heard and admired for his work, often heroic, in favour of most vulnerable people, both in peace and war, raise its voice to denounce the behaviours and legislations that have contributed to worsen the situation of drug users in the world.
For that, it’s right to start from the Red Cross and Red Crescent youth volunteers, who “in every part of the world” have clear the meaning of the 7 Fundamental Principles of the Movement, to which they closely adhere.
This is the most relevant objective of the project “Youth and drugs: a Red Cross/Red Crescent approach”, described in this publication as a source of inspiration for other National Societies that want to start to be active in this field or just want to increase their capacity and advocacy skills.

We are aware that our good will and efforts are only drops in a sea of needs.

However, it’s always worth the effort to witness “the power of humanity” even in a field such as drug abuse, where humanity is ignored and vilified.

As in a battlefield.

Massimo Barra
Chairman of the
Partnership on substance abuse