The growing relevance of the Icelandic Model of Intervention (MI) in bringing adolescents affected by drug use disorders back to normal life through alternative activities will be a key topic of deliberations at the three-day International Forum. on the “right to a drug-free childhood”. .
The UN-backed conclave, which opens here on November 16, featuring prominent voices against drug abuse in India and abroad, is organized by the Fourth Wave Foundation (FWF) in partnership with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and World Federation Against Drugs. (WFAD). ‘Children matter-Right to a drug-free childhood’ is the central theme of the meeting.
Dr. Harvey Milkman, Professor Emeritus, Metropolitan State University of Denver, USA, who has actively advocated for the implementation of IM in communities around the world; and Margaret Lilja, Knowledge Manager, Planet Youth, will speak in different sessions during the meeting. IM seeks to breathe new life into drug-dependent children by channeling their energy into creative activities such as sports and other avenues through the collaboration of many stakeholders such as parents, teachers and sports clubs.
About 30 years ago, Iceland was the hotspot for teenage drug use in Europe. Today, the country occupies the first place on the European list of de-addicted teenagers.
The Fourth Wave Foundation’s Drug Addiction Initiative named ‘VENDA’ (No to Drugs), strongly advocates the ‘Alternative Pursuit’ model in Kerala based on the instant messaging model. The main activities of ‘VENDA’ include empowerment programs for children, football training, summer camp, ‘Venda Cup’ football tournament and awareness courses for parents, teachers, counselors , police and excise officers.
‘VENDA’ is active in districts that have a very high number of adolescent drug abusers found by the National Action Plan for Drug Demand Reduction (NAPDDR) survey conducted by the Narcotics Control Bureau. Currently it focuses on Ernakulam, Kozhikode, Malappuram, Kollam, Thiruvananthapuram, Idukki and Thrissur districts.