Toward a Comprehensive Anti-Drug Policy in the Americas

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Toward a Comprehensive Anti-Drug Policy in the Americas

1. How can countries incorporate public health, education and social integration approaches in their policies for addressing addictions?

2. What are some mechanisms that can be applied to strengthen the architecture of hemispheric cooperation for addressing addictions?

3. What are some proposals to strengthen national health systems in the areas of the prevention and treatment of addictions?

4. How can we benefit from and adapt the successful experiences of other countries in addressing addictions?

goxley's picture
Appproaches for addressing addictions

In addressing addictions perons need to be aware of the social and personal outcomes of addictions. The breakdown of family life, the cost of rehabilitation the loss of productivity and the stress evolving from this problem.

National Policies can support Drug Rehabilitation programs that incorporate family and community education with some after care support. Social integration will become a process in this activity during and after rehabilitation since acceptance of the drug addict is one for the family and community to do.

There can be networking and training for persons involved in rehabilitation programs. This training will also be applied to the person of the trainer. Meaning those involved at the various level of the rehabilitation program need to be taken care of as they can easily become burnt out and frustrated with recidivism of addicts and non support of Government and communities in fulfilling their objectives.

To stregthen health systems there need to be trained specialists that can work with institutions and support groups. Availability of information to the general public will also serve to build the strength of these systems. Outreach to schools and community groups will add to this activity. Mental health issues can be addressed in a sensitve manner bringing persons to do self assessment early to detect any weakness that can be addressed early.

Best practice of succesful programs and persons with addictions can help other countries address addictions. They also need to do an analysis of the type of addictions in their country and develop programs that will educate persons on precention of such addictions.

Overall a strong family life and self esteem building program can be instituted to act as a bulwark against addictions. Steps to forming bonds in the family and community will also add to this progam as the need for support grows the addictions can be addressed before becoming extreme.

ZenitaN's picture
Generally, addiction is

Generally, addiction is grossly misunderstood and persons who are addicted to a substance are marginalised and are treated as outcasts.There is much to be done at the individual level and more over within the family so as to create awareness and understanding of the issues surrounding addiction.

Unfortunately, some people do not have coping skills and soon find themselves addicted to various things, not substance alone, e.g. shopping, sex and so on. The use of the substance did not start out as an addictive one, but rather as a way of coping, or a menas to escape. 

This is a much deeper issue that needs to find its resolve with consideration of how we cope with stress, in addition to supportive laws and policies.

In NA or AA meetings one would find the slogan "THINK THINK THINK" (upside down) as a representation of the way the a substance user's mind works and as a reminder that one often thinks up sided down in these situations where there is loss of control and the inability to cope, Most often one is taught news and different ways of coping and the strength in surrender. 

Also, it is found that these same patterens can be identified in almost every person. 

In my humblest opinion, I feel that our education systems are failing our children and us as individuals since it is academic driven. It needs to be comprehensive where skills are taught. Skills such as coping, negotitiation and critical thinking, only to name a few. 

There i only one solution

The human brain/mind must be seen as a computer, how do we program the brain starting at a very young age in our education systems, most drug addiction starts with mental and social programming but in reality if you attend a NA or AA meeting and take the time to understand what most of these people are doing there, some for over 10 years, they all need a hand to hold, some type of support, in the end they are the ones that do make the choice to abstain.

Our societies have created the problems we face in every country today, by using music, social programming, gang and club culture, this process started in the 70's and today we are paying a very high price for the programming used, the biggest setback for the problem is money and greed.

What would happen if some drugs like pot was worth nothing, it would sure put a dent in the global issue we face and save governments millions in resources that can be applied to much more dangerous drugs.

bevoncurrie's picture
the issue of drug trafficking

the issue of drug trafficking in the hemisphere has reached to crisis proportion and should be deemed a regional security treat by Governments of the hemisphere  which if first and foremost attract the desire attention and secondly the resources to combat the trade and the social ills associate with it  at the hemispheric level.

Such an action must be supported by national policies that seeks to address the scourge of addiction in a pragmatic way that encourage an active role of the family, community, education system and other social actors. this policies should be buttressed by robust legislation to confiscate properties and monies gain though the drug trade.

finally an educational programme to help families and community leaders to deal with the scourge of addiction and not to treat it as an incurable sickness.

all of the aforementioned should be informed from lessons learn and best practices from other countries around the world

ZenitaN's picture
Looking at Corruption and taking a comprehensive approach

Many countries have policies which are reinforced by robust legislation to confiscate properties and monies gain though the drug trade. The reality is the people who go jail are the one who use or the sacrificial “lambs” within the drug trade.

We can choose to ignore what we already know…. There is corruption when it comes to the drug trade.

The organized crime dynasty and drug trade is quite complex. We need to include dealing with corruption in our conversations so that we can strengthen the approach towards a Comprehensive Anti-Drug Policy in the Americas

We can benefit from the corruption measures some countries have used and adopted to bring down and infiltrate organized crime and to fight corruption. The solutions are neither simple nor straight forward.

Strengthening national health systems in the areas of the prevention and treatment of addictions will require a comprehensive approach. In a conversation with Dr. Marcus Day, Director, Caribbean Drug & Alcohol Research Institute, Saint Lucia, he indicated that to think people will stop using is unrealistic.  He felt that there is a dire need for good community psychiatric, psychological and counseling support (mental health) services where people can have easy access.

He also indicated that not everyone require addiction / harm reduction services and that there is a need for low threshold street based programmes for active, street based substance users where they will be given a place to eat, bathe and sleep, a place where they will be away from the streets and from being a nuisance. There are 65% of people who use as a form of self medication.


UkiahBusch's picture
Why not to think of drugs as a National Security Threat...

While you are absolutely correct that drugs and the illicit markets built around their transportation and trade are vastly damaging to both society and governments, it is bad policy to consider this issue as a "threat to National Security."  Designating an issue as a national security threat has very specific implications for the tools, objectives and strategies that policy makers deem appropriate when crafting a response.  Traditional national security threats are almost all militaristic in nature, as are the tools and strategies traditionally used to address the threats.  Identifying the drug issue as a national security issue leads policy makers to rely on those same traditional national security tools.  US thinking on drugs has, for decades, revolved around this mindset, resulting in a military-driven 'War on Drugs,' which has utilized the national security toolbox to address what is in reality a public health issue.  It is no surpirse that the War on Drugs has created such poor results when one considers the mismatch of objectives with strategy.  Public health objectives cannot be achieved with a national security strategy.  


Where a national security strategy is needed, however, is in fighting the organized criminal groups that wreak violence in the streets, corrupt governments and civil society groups and undermine institutions worldwide.  These groups, not the users, growers or mules, should be the focus of all military and law enforcement measures.

bevoncurrie's picture
Dear Mr. Busch

Dear Mr. Busch

While I acknowledge your concern of the consequences of treating Drug Trafficking as a National Security Threat you must agree that the Multi National Nature of the Drug trade and the high power weapon and technology use by the cartels can only be subdue by a military response.

Many countries experience cartels setting up Para-military groups which confronts and most times out maneuverers security forces driving fair into serving members of the government forces resulting in many of them being compromised.

Therefore declaring it as a National Security Threat will initiate a multilateral approach as in the case of terrorism.


ZenitaN's picture

Policies and laws alone will not suffice in the addressing the issues around an anti drug policy. We need to work thorugh what happens after in terms of the implementation of these policies and laws.

Aditionally, there is a need for monitoring the implementation of same and and ongoing evaluation of the implementation.

These need to be documented so that it can inform the approach as we go along. 

We need to look at the existing structures countries have where the approach can be be easily and cost effectively adopted. 




bevoncurrie's picture
while legislation exist in

while legislation exist in many countries to combat drug trafficking and its associate crimes, the institutions mandated to monitor and implement these legislation are generally under resourced and toothless making them ineffective.

therefore there is an urgent need for a hemispheric institution  wider powers than INTERPOL to coordinate the anti drug trafficking campaign beyond boarders. this will also help to police the influence these cartels has on governments and government institutions.

bevoncurrie's picture
therefore to combat addiction

therefore to combat addiction the restriction of access to the illicit drugs through proactive legislative and institutional frame work will go a far.

Jose Luis Vazquez

From the OAS we give a warm welcome to all those involved in this forum, where I have the honor to be the moderator. Your comments will help us to integrate the final report.

Thank you very much for your participation.


José Luis Vázquez

Demand Reduction Specialist

bevoncurrie's picture
Many of the Addiction

Many of the Addiction policies in developing countries both by government and civil society, often treat the individual as social reject most time isolating them in some inhumane condition with out any coherent reintegration programme.

therefore any comprehensive programme to address addiction must include a generic model for reform facilities and a framework to support a seeming less reintegration of  reform addict.

UkiahBusch's picture
A few suggestions for # 3

I believe the first task in addressing prevention and treatment is recognizing that prevention of all drug use is not possible and therefore should not be the stated objective of a rational drug policy.  To admit that ending all use is impossible opens the door to both the realistic assessment of policy options and the setting of attainable goals focused on managing the effects of drug use (i.e. harm reduction).  While the phrase "harm reduciton" has remained anathemic to the US, the Obama Administration has made progress in implementing certain harm reduction measures.  For example, he ended the federal ban on syringe exchange programs for injection drug users and has taken great steps to incorporate the treatment of drug addiciton into the traditional healthcare system.  Adding drug treatment codes to insurance plans, for instance, creates paths for users to seek treatment they otherwise would not be able to afford.  

Marcus_Day's picture
What are some proposals to strengthen national health systems

1st we need to accept the consistent scientific evidence that 65% of the people who use drugs have some co-occurring psychiatric issue. So right there we see a need to strengthen community mental health services to address people who are using illicit substances to self medicate.


2nd we need to regulate the cannabis market and remove cannabis users from the category of addiction. In fact all recreational users cannabis or other substances,who are not problem users, should be removed from the equation as  there use poses no harm to themselves or others.

bevoncurrie's picture
I totally disagree with you

I totally disagree with you Mr. Marcus Day, sine 95% of the communal violence an criminal activities in rural Guyana are done by people addicted to Cannabis.

In developing countries like Guyana Cannabis is a major form of addiction, since its cultivate on a large scale in remote locations and is easily accessible and a low cost to users. So my friend it is part of the problem

Marcus_Day's picture
Sorry Bev - I dont know what

Sorry Bev - I dont know what u do in guyana but u really dont have a clue - Alcohol is the major substance of violence not cannabis - Guyana's drug policy is so off but then why should it be any different then any other part of uyana - I have never seen a country with so much potential just squander it - Stop worrying about cannabis and start to clean up the official cocaine corruption


asonaram's picture
Mr. Currie, 

Mr. Currie, 

I have to agree with Mr Day on his views. I have traveled to the rural communites in Guyana over the last  two years, and alcoholism is registered as the main cause of abuse and addiction to its people. If you are acknowledging the reports issued by the MInistry of Human Service and Labour in Guyana, I can first hand exclaim that these reports are bias of actual fact/statistics in this areas.

Then you don't have much of a

Then you don't have much of a problem, lets take a look at this.

In countries in the Caribbean the drugs of choice are




Latin America




But in every one of these countries we see a very large level of alcohol use, in some of the Caribbean islands alcohol has been inbreeded into their cultures for generations, its in every social activity, its in their music, its has become this way because of their attitude, social and mental programming and has cause more harm that the drugs listed above. We have seen Marijuana inbreeded in the culture of many Jamaicans over the years as in the same way alcohol was used in other countries, When we look at the percentage of drug users to alcohol in this region its very small, the major problem is trafficking to the USA and other G1 countries that create the crime and violence.

In the Caribbean we have seen music play a huge role in the glorification of the gangster lifestyle, drugs, violence and all that comes with it, we have seen for years countries in the Caribbean exports such music to the other Caribbean countries contributing to the destruction of many of these country original cultures.

In Dominican Republic we have seen "tik" become a major problem in modern times, as times change so will be the drug of choice.

USA and Canada

Now lets take a look at just some of the stuff people in the USA and Canada abuse.







Bath Salts












Dextromethorphan (DXM)




K2 or Spice

Peyote and Mescaline



Steroids (anabolic)




asonaram's picture
what we need is reduction rather than eradication

It's widely understood that addictions to drugs is a coping mechanism for people, and also many misconstrue this addiction to be only form of narcotics, and to agree with Reply #2, addictions is also forms of larceny, alcoholism, sex, kleptomania, etc., and these are physiological. These addictions not only manifest itself from lack of education but is often influenced from the community the individual is brought up in, it being part of the peoples cultural identity, by peers, by movies, and it is influenced simply through the curiosity of the mind, and more so a manifestation from the lack of employment.

We have to be realistic that in the Americas, drug trade, drug addiction is also part the livelihood of many in our states; the cartels of México, the guerrillas of Columbia, the drug lords of the United States, the kingpins of Guyana, have been a large employment force of people that are drawn to this method of work because of the economic strains (lack of employment), not because they are uneducated, it is because job creation is not there, it is because discrimination is there, it is in the faces of our people every day; because you’re Hispanic, Latino/a, Black, Chinese, Indian, and because you look gay or you act gay, this is the rhetoric in our societies, while simultaneously acknowledging the inability to eradicate the drug use and trade while inclusive of human trafficking is not holistic within capacities of governments nor citizen to prevent, the aim most stay focused on reduction of the quantity and movement of these elements that is the cause of corruption within societies. Governments need to review its policies on promoting closer cooperation to improve national and international measures to combat illicit drug trafficking while supporting an integrated approach to drug-abuse control, in accordance with international conventions, including the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. These faults lie within governments’ abilities on proper education on health and social mechanisms, the breach of our boarder securities; land and sea, which are main gateways that allow the continued development and expansion of the drug arena that also contributes to human trafficking. Yes, Governments do have enforces strategically places on sides of boarder security and prevention of human trafficking.

bevoncurrie's picture
I agree with many of the

I agree with many of the comment made in the second paragraph particularly the one on the impact of the drug trade on the employment challenges in the various countries. All of the evidence suggest that proceeds from the drug trade are laundered into legitimate industries such as, in the case of Guyana, construction mining and housing industries. This is in addition to the job of being look outs, touts carriers etc

This effect and the social fall out of clamping down to the drug trade reinforce my call for convocation  of properties and the use of proceeds to reinvest in communities. We can not allow our pie elopement as a country and the creation of employment opportunity to depend on this criminal enterprise.

bevoncurrie's picture
In 1996 at a special drug

In 1996 at a special drug Summit CARICOM in a statement declared "Narco Trafficking and its associated evils money laundering, gun smuggling, corruption of public Officials, criminality and drug abuse constitute the major security threat to the Caribbean Today"

Since that conference and the subsequent declaration the situation has degenerated further creating the environment for Drug dealers and Cartels to have influence on the Democratic outcomes, major economic activities and government decisions in many territories.

therefore moving the discussion to an hemispheric level and developing an ht hemispheric approach will go a far way is the fight against Drug Trafficking

Danny Kushlick
Danny Kushlick's picture
Address Addiction - End the war on drugs

Put quite simply, we cannot address addiction meangfully in a war zone.  Any more than it made sense to address alcoholism through Prohibition in the US in the 1920s and early 1930s.

Only by ending the global prohibition, and treating use and misuse as social issue and health issues will we deal with drug problems.

At one end of the spectrum we have gifted the drug trade to vast corporate organisations that aggressivley market alcohol, tobacco and pharmaceuticals.  At the other end we have gifted the drug trade to organised criminals and unregulated producers, traffickers and dealers who market cocaine, heroin and cannabis.

What we need to do is close this gap and explore ways to regulate the production, supply and sale of drugs at both extremes of the spectrum to control them as best we can. 

Ploughinh billions of dollars into the drug war and maximising harm, leaving paltry amounts to spend on health and harm reduction is nothing less than insanity.

For more information, visit and


ZenitaN's picture
Query for #16

Dear Bevon Currie, 

Kindly point me to the source of your stats. It's very interseting and I would like to read it.You said that 95% of the communal violence an criminal activities in rural Guyana are done by people addicted to Cannabis.

Many thanks.


bevoncurrie's picture


sorry for not responding earlier but you can get those statistics for the Ministry of Home Affairs or the police statistics department.

asonaram's picture
Dear Mr Currie

Dear Mr Currie,

If you do have these documents/reports of statistics could you please upload to this forum to have it shared with other participants who, like myself, are interested in reviewing the information on your previous submission on this forum.

bevoncurrie's picture
As you are ware Guyana is a

As you are ware Guyana is a very politically charge society and information like these are hard to gain access to since every thing is seen from a political prospective. Thus Unfortunately to access this information you will have to go in and view them under the supervision of an officer.



Jose Luis Vazquez
Information and analysis for action

The development and implementation of public policies to address the complex phenomenon of addiction is a challenge that requires consideration of individual characteristics and at the same time, the general characteristics of the populations in which they live. One of the current challenges is to identify evidence based policies, strategies, activities and best practices. Nowadays, information systems on the hemisphere are still being developed to propose and analyze the most appropriate indicators.
OAS 10th Hemispheric Forum Application - Deadline: April 29!

Dear Participants,

We would like to inform you that information on how to participate in the 10th Hemispheric Forum of Civil Society and Social Actors, May 9-10 in Washington, DC and how to apply for financial support are posted in the forum’s introduction page. Deadline for financial support is April 29, 2013 at 5:30pm (Washington, DC time).

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bevoncurrie's picture
In the hemisphere many

In the hemisphere many addicts after finding themselves on the wrong side of the law in Developed countries like the USA, Canada etc are most times return to their home country with little or no adoption or cooping skills.  As a result the become easy prey to groups/gangs which facilitates their habits.

therefore there is a need for greater sharing of background information between countries which will facilitate authorities to point these individuals into programmes that will help them. Also some effort at the hemispheric level must be made to build on the IOM capacity building project to equip involuntary re-migrants with cooping skills.

War on Drugs

Its time to end the war on drugs, after 40 years its just not working, all its has accomplished is to make the arms manufactures richer and the cartels find news ways to do things, in the end the casualties "addicts" are the only ones that are paying the real price sometimes with their life. We don't put people in jail because they are sick, so why are we putting millions of addicts in jails.

Lately we have seen countries like Columba try new strategies using drugs to treat drug addiction

New research has shown us that Drug addiction is a disease, in some cases even genetic, but yet governments have been putting addicts in jails and not treating the addictions, only making the problem worst.

The University of Utar 

"When scientists look for "addiction genes," what they are really looking for are biological differences that may make someone more or less vulnerable to addiction." 


National Institute of Drug Abuse

"Many people do not understand why or how other people become addicted to drugs. It is often mistakenly assumed that drug abusers lack moral principles or willpower and that they could stop using drugs simply by choosing to change their behavior. In reality, drug addiction is a complex disease, and quitting takes more than good intentions or a strong will. In fact, because drugs change the brain in ways that foster compulsive drug abuse, quitting is difficult, even for those who are ready to do so. Through scientific advances, we know more about how drugs work in the brain than ever, and we also know that drug addiction can be successfully treated to help people stop abusing drugs and lead productive lives."

The time has come to break the taboo, to use new social/mental research to program our sociaties to create the start of a new way in which we do things, our education system is the best place to start to end the war on drugs.

In Jamaica the trade in

In Jamaica the trade in narcotics (mostly marijuana but to also cocaine) has significant socio-economic effects. It is less of a public health and additction issue and more of a crime and violence issue. I don't have hard data at my disposal at the moment but based on my work in the development sector and my local knowledge, drug addiction and its deliterious effects are not major problem (obviously it does exist, though). The narcotics in Jamaica is, however, a major contributing factor in the epidemic of crime and violence that affects the island because it is the main currency of organized crine and urban gangs. Jamaica, as an island of less than 3 million, has the 4 highest homicide rate in the world according to a study by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in 2011. A majority of those crimes are linked to urban gangs and the drug trade. Jamaica acts also acts as a natural transhipment point for narcotics going from South America into the US.

From my perspective as a development practitioner who also grew up in the very same poor urban communities where drugs and crime are a scurge, the introduction of legitimate, sustainable economic and income generating opportunities for the youth has to be part of any anti-drug policy. We have to face the facts: its unemployed and uneducated young people that are co-opted by gang leaders as mules and salesmen for drugs in these commnuities. The poverty and desperation among this group also make them the perfect market/consumers for drugs. The main reason they are susceptible to recruitment is that they have very few other options for income given their lack of skills and education. That makes the spectre of slinging drugs, while dangerous, very enticing because of the opportunity to make money. As long as there is an abundant supply of poor young people that are easily drawn up into gangs we will never break up the network of distribution with the communities. Rival distribution networks (read: gangs) in the same community lead inevitably to gang violence, at which point both the culpable and innocent are at risk. 

I know this is probably an indirect means of addressing the drug issue. But I think its safe to say that the plethora of legislation, drug sniffing dogs and harsh penalties that are implemented to tackle the drug problem directly have not had the desired effect in many countries (though I can only speak for Jamaica). The reason for this is that we've only been addressing the supply and haven't spent enough time and effort on the demand. Widespread poverty, desperation and "idel hands" creates both the demand for drugs and teh network to distribute it. Addressing that by identifying and enhancing existing skills in urban youth for the purpose of meaningful economic benefit can go a long way to solving that problem.

My company has had good success transitioning urban youth from idleness or gang particpation into legitimate income generation through backyard ornamental (pet) fish farming. With a high demand for pet fish in the US and Jamaica's logistical and climate advantages, its a perfect oportunity for the youth to particpate in a global value chain and earn money through their own work. We train them, introduce cheap but productive production technology and link them to local exporters to they have amarket for their fish. The impact on these young people in terms of increased pride, responsibility, and income is tremendous.


bevoncurrie's picture
lets address our minds to the

lets address our minds to the issue of addiction to prescriptive medication such as pain killers and a possible solution.

it there is a government policy to develop a general register of all prescriptive medication coming in to the country and the amount distributed to the various hospitals and pharmacies and this cross check it with a digital prescription process, which must be subscribe to by all medical practitioner .

the will allow people who are using excess constantly to be red flagged and referred cancelling services and or prevented for buying them.

In 2011 I did address this

In 2011 I did address this issue on the OAS ICT forum, a cloud platform for the Americas that would address this issue and in some cases help governments of many countries provide health care for the masses. One of the biggest problem we face is "corruption" not just in the government but the private sector, to accomplish this we would have to form a public private partnership with all parties and develop the ICT in Latin America and the Caribbean. In the USA the system of providing drugs does exist, the platform is used by CVS and many other providers allowing them to verify and interact with doctors and health care systems in live time.

Connect the Americas has been working to put a ICT backbone in place but it will take some time.

Every country has a unique situation when it comes to the type of drugs abuse, the scams used, the level of corruption, who is corrupt, the age group abusing what drugs.

Luiz Roberto Lima
Luiz Roberto Lima's picture
4. How can we benefit from and adapt the successful experiences


States should encourage, and promote actions to ensure that society (including users, dependents, family, and specific populations), can take with ethical responsibility, treatment, recovery and social reintegration, supported technically and financially, in a decentralized manner, by government agencies at the local, state and federal, non-governmental organizations and private entities.

And key to access the different modalities of treatment and recovery, social reintegration and occupational should be identified, qualified and guaranteed as an ongoing effort available, permanently, for users, their families and dependents, with technical and financial investment decentralized manner.

Shares of treatment, rehabilitation, social and occupational reintegration should be linked to scientific research, evaluating them and encouraging them and multiplying those having achieved more effective results, with guaranteed allocation of technical and financial resources to carry out these practices and research promoting the improvement of others.

In the recovery stage, one must highlight and promote actions of family reintegration, social and occupational, due to its constitution as an instrument to break the cycle consumption / treatment for most involved, through partnerships and agreements with agencies governmental and non-governmental organizations, ensuring the decentralized distribution of technical and financial resources.

The countries should provide budgetary allocations, in all its ministries responsible for the actions of National Policies and Programmes on Drugs, which will be distributed in a decentralized manner, based on needs assessment specific to the area of ​​treatment, recovery, harm reduction, rehabilitation social and occupational, stimulating social control and shared responsibility between government and society.

The continuous training, evaluated and updated all governmental and non-governmental organizations involved with treatment, recovery, harm reduction, social and occupational reintegration of users, addicts and their families must be guaranteed, including financial resources, to expand the knowledge in the area.


Crack program: you can win - BRAZIL



Brazil's government has created a program called the National Program Crack is possible to win the 2014 which intends to invest a total of $ 2 billion dollars in the Integrated Plan to Combat Crack and Other Drugs. The investment is made in several actions of integrated public policies in various sectors such as health, education, social care and public safety. In this program the responsibility is shared with the states and municipalities that have committed to providing support to users.

Aa social secu play a key role in implementing this project. Will focus on preserving escalations in dependency cases, develop the autonomy of the individual user, seeking alternatives to new life projects and assist the families involved.

The service will be conducted by the Social Assistance System (ITS) - public body, coordinated by the Ministry of Social Development and Fight against Hunger (MDS), which organizes a decentralized social assistance services in Brazil. The main services provided by ITS are divided between the Reference Centres for Social Assistance (CRAS), Specialized Reference Centers for Social Welfare (CREAS) and Reference Centers for Specialized Care in the Homeless Population (POP Center).

Another aspect of the plan is prevention through training of professionals of different areas on the issue of crack and other drugs. Public school educators, professionals from health, social care and public safety, judges, prosecutors and the judiciary servers, councilors and managers therapeutic communities, among others, are the target audience of courses that prepare for use prevention drug, monitoring, treatment and social reintegration of addicts. The Plan also provides free telephone service that available 24 hours, plus a website for information and guidance on crack and other drugs. Along the Brazilian government created advertising campaigns utilities, which are linked by the media.

In the area of ​​public safety, Police Federal and state work together on integrated actions of intelligence to identify and arrest traffickers. With greater focus on routes and states in which there is a high number of drug seizures, as well as increase in the number of Federal Police and the Federal Highway Police.

The program Crack is possible to win should generate more than 30,000 jobs to receive free users and drug addicts throughout the country through a public call for therapeutic communities, treatment centers and private public related to intake of these people. Resources for action are from the National Anti-Drug Fund (FUNAD), with monthly payment of $ 500 U.S. dollars for care services for adults and $ 750 dollars to children, adolescents and mothers breast-feeding.


The Program and based on three axes:

  • Prevention - Education, Training and Information
  • Caution - Increased Offer health and treatment of attention to users
  • Authority - coping with drug trafficking and criminal organizations


  1.  different services for different needs
  2.  Increase in the provision of services
  3.  National Network of Health prepared to meet
  4.  Social reintegration
  5.  Full support to users and families

AXIS CAUTION: Training and Professional Qualification

Training of Therapeutic Communities


  •  Content: update on basic concepts of prevention, intervention and social reintegration of users and addicts crack and other drugs.
  •  Methodology: Distance Education
  •  Hours: 120 hours certified university extension

Scale: it is estimated that there are about 2,500 in Brazil Therapeutic Communities.

AXIS AUTHORITY: Training and Professional Qualification

  • Training for Operators of I lie
  • Target audience:
  • Police, judges, prosecutors and psychosocial professionals working in the Special Criminal Courts, Courts of Childhood and Youth and prosecutors;

Content: technical approach for the best and correct implementation of the Drugs Act and the Statute of the Child and Adolescent users together.

Methodology: Distance Education

Hours: 120 hours certified university extension


  •  Teacher Training for Implementation of Prevention Projects
  • Partnership with Schools and Universities

  Distance learning, with total workload of 180h:

- 120h and theoretical elaboration of the prevention project to be implemented taking into account the reality of the school network and articulation;

- 60h practices for project implementation and enforcement of the Program Say Yes to Life for children, youth and adolescents;


Community Leaders and Municipal Councillors



  • Empower 135 000 community leaders and counselors who work in different councils across the country. Represent approximately 65% ​​of the universe of existing directors.
  • Target audience: community leaders and municipal councilors (on drugs, council members, directors of the rights of children and adolescents, counselor education, health, welfare and safety

Content: prevention of drug use, policies and legislation on drugs and cross-cutting themes (violence, sexual exploitation, child labor and conflict mediation)

Methodology: Distance Education

Hours: 120 hours certified university extension


Training for Leadership and Religious Movements Related


  • Train 35,000 leaders from all religious denominations in the country, operating in host user crack and other drugs.

Target audience:

Religious leaders of various denominations and movements related

Content: prevention of drug use for the development of preventive and proper approach in situations requiring referral network of community services

Methodology: Distance Education

Hours: 90 hours with certification of university extension

AXIS PREVENTION: Training and Professional Qualification

  • Distance Course for health care and social assistance

Goal: approximately 21,000 professionals and 14,000 social care professionals

Target Audience: health professionals and social care

Content: technical approach, detection of abuse and addiction to crack cocaine and other drugs,

motivational counseling and brief intervention.

Methodology: Distance Education

Hours: 120 hours certified university extension



Jose Luis Vazquez

Today is the last day of this virtual forum. The Organization of American States appreciates your valuable participation. For any pending comments, the forum will still be open for a few more days.

The final report of this virtual forum and the one that will be held with Civil Society representatives, will soon be published. We invite you to visit the Twitter profile of the SAS ( as their Facebook pages (SummitAmericas and CumbreAmericas) and website (

Thank you all for your participation.


Jose L Vazquez

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