Global Health

WiRED and UNODC Share Links to Their Educational Resources

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WiRED and UNODC Share Links to Their Educational Resources

Organizations Value Common Training Strategies

By WiRED’s Editorial Staff

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), recognizing the health value of WiRED training material, is linking to WiRED International’s website and to WiRED’s web-based  health education programs. In addition, UNODC will provide periodic newsletters announcing WiRED’s programs and new training modules. WiRED, in turn, will provide its readers and followers with updates on the UNODC drug prevention programs. Drug use and addiction have become global health problems, and WiRED recognizes the value of UNODC’s approach to educating people about the dangers of illegal drug use and possible strategies for addiction prevention.

In this article, WiRED is sharing with our readers the UNODC’s “Listen First” program. “Listen First” is an initiative to increase support for evidence-based prevention of drug use. Prevention offers an effective investment in the well-being of children and youth, their families and their communities. Listening to children and youth is the first step in understanding their needs and concerns and in preparing a strategy to help them stay healthy and safe.

WiRED Board member William Crano, Ph.D., who was a reviewer in the beginning of “Listen First,” said, “WiRED board members have collaborated with UNODC on a variety of projects and they are always evidence-based, high quality, and of importance to promoting health and preventing disease. This is no exception.”

“Listen First” was launched in 2016 during the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on the World Drug Problem. The campaign targets parents, teachers, policy makers, health workers and prevention workers particularly, and it also serves the wider public.

The campaign began as a joint effort between the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the World Health Organization and other international health organizations.

During his remarks at UNGASS, UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov noted: “…[D]espite good intentions, drug prevention efforts too often consist of isolated initiatives to raise awareness about the danger of drugs among young people and the general public. The campaign that we are launching today, ‘Listen First’…is an effective investment in the wellbeing of our children and youth, families, and communities. At the core of science-based prevention is a very simple concept, something we all know how to do but perhaps spend too little time doing: listening.”

The materials associated with “Listen First” include public service announcements, fact sheets and videos for key stakeholders involved in science-based prevention. During the COVID-19 global lockdowns, UNODC released 10 videos (see example here) and corresponding science sheets to highlight the Science of Care with actions that can help children, adolescents and families in these challenging times. (You can see an example of these videos here:

Late in 2021, UNODC anticipates releasing new resources focused on the importance of skill development in young people, helping them to grow healthy and happy.

For more information on “Listen First,” click here.