|Prevention of Drug Abuse through Education and Information: An Interdiscplinary Responsibility Within the Context of Human Development (EC - UNESCO, 1994, 26 p.)|
To summarize the main points discussed in this document, the following concluding remarks can perhaps be made in respect of the necessity to include education to prevent drug abuse as an essential component of any strategy to promote human development. As defined by the Human Development Report, human development is a process of enlarging people's choices, the three essential ones being to enable people to lead a long and healthy life, to acquire knowledge and to have access to resources needed for a decent standard of living.
The abuse of drugs is a human phenomenon which attacks the very fabric of society and, as such, its prevention must include the symbolic dimension and take place within the socio-cultural context. The complexity of this demands interdisciplinary solutions using a transdisciplinarity approach which takes into account the qualitative aspects of human development.
Population groups in danger of resorting to drugs to solve a problem must not be designated " at risk " if social exclusion is to be avoided; the notion of " risk situation " is much better adapted to the reality of complex social relationships in which the use of drugs is rooted and has much more affinity with the concept of human development.
Participation of all levels of society is a key element in the successful prevention of drug abuse. Partnerships must be extensive, integrating governmental and non governmental organizations, people's organizations and institutions specialized in the field of drugs and drug abuse at local, regional, sub-regional and international levels.
If our hypothesis is correct, i.e. that drug abuse is attacking the very fabric of society, then this implies that drug abuse is an obstacle to any kind of development - including human development - at every level. If this is acknowledged, then preventive education against such abuse must be seen in the light of a fundamental component of any strategy to promote social progress and human development.
Preventing drug abuse through education stipulates interventions
at the socio-cultural and individual levels with carefully selected solutions,
adapted to each situation and to each problem. Interventions of this nature,
with so many implications for social, economic and cultural development, need to
be guided by a higher goal - in this case human development which is, in turn
the main preoccupation of UNESCO. So, human development which aspires to improve
the quality of life of all peoples, is not simply an objective of education to
prevent drug abuse, but is also a precondition to the success of education in