|Prevention of Drug Abuse through Education and Information: An Interdiscplinary Responsibility Within the Context of Human Development (EC - UNESCO, 1994, 26 p.)|
Participation is an important element in human development, and all preventive education programmes should, therefore, according to their proportions, call upon the assistance of a varied range of organizations to promote differentiated development.
«People as understanding of the world is formed and nurtured in face-to-face interactions in small social groups - first in the family, then the street, perhaps, or in the neighbourhood or village» (12)
(l2) Human Development Report, op. cit., p. 84
Programmes should be set up in place which take account of social microcosms, how they are linked and articulated. Specific questions relative to the products conjured up by social imagery must be discerned, discussed in terms of both urban and rural social integration and exclusion, taking into account internal and external migratory phenomena.
Action at different levels (from the family to society in general) requires partnerships with both the State and the institutions of civil society. Between these two levels there should be cooperation and exchange of information and experiences with institutions specialized in the field of drugs. In that sense, the role of Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and people's organizations is of prime importance. NGOs are voluntary organizations with a quite bureaucratic structure, whilst people's organizations are less structured, more democratic, representing the interests of their members, but with less capacity to intervene. Whilst NGOs can be organized at local, national, or even international levels (including in a federal form), people's organizations are smaller, more flexible and usually work mainly at local levels.
If participation is considered to be a criterion of success of prevention education programmes, then the active involvement of individuals and groups concerned (inhabitants of a district, neighbours, young people, women, drug-takers, ex-drug addicts, pharmacists, teachers, social workers...) cannot be too strongly stressed. Local activities are of the utmost importance, from the point of view of primary prevention, as is the development of social activities in general - in the fields of sports, culture, the arts and leisure. One final recommendation - all strategies which aim to reinforce the social fabric should be based on partnerships between the State, the institutions of civil society, people's organizations and those specialized in drugs to ensure the attainment of the common goal of preventive education which is the improvement of the quality of life with a view to human development for the individual, the family, the school, the community and society as a whole, through formal and non formal education and information.