Global Conference On Drug Abuse Prevention,
Skills for Drug Abuse
Penang, Malaysia May 13-17, 2002
Drug Advisory Programme (DAP)
Federation of Non Governmental Organizations, (IFNGO)
Association for the Prevention of Drug Abuse Malaysia (PEMADAM)
(Conference Photo Gallery)
IV Global Conference on Drug Abuse Prevention
which had the theme “Skills for Drug Abuse Prevention”
was successfully held in Penang, Malaysia from 13 to 17 May
2002. It was organized by the Colombo Plan Drug Advisory
Programme and hosted by the National Drugs Agency Malaysia in
collaboration with IFNGO and PEMADAM Malaysia with funding
from the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement
(INL), US Department of State and the Government of Japan.
The First Global Conference on
Drug Abuse Prevention was held in Lima, Peru from 26 – 30 May
1998 and the theme was “The America-Asia Dialogue”.
The Second Conference was held in Bangkok, Thailand from 8 –
12 November 1999 and the theme was
“Effective Primary Prevention Strategies: Possibilities for
the Next Millennium”. The Third Global Conference was
held in Sicily, Italy from 15 – 29 September 2000 and the
theme was “Global Networking: New Frontiers in Drug Abuse
Prevention for Youth and Communities”
Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia,
“No country can deal with the problem of illict drugs
without the total commitment from all sectors of society and
this commitment must be an action oriented statement of
Ibrahim bin Wan Ahmad, Director General of Malaysia’s
National Drug Agency
Representative of the consulate General of Japan
Deputy Director of US Department of State. Bureau of
International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.
IOC, Tay Bien How, Director of the Colombo Plan Drug
skills in drug abuse prevention; role of the media; mobilizing
the workplace against drug abuse; Special Task Force Strategic
Planning Meeting; formalizing formation of Global Drug
Objectives Of The IV Global Conference
The objectives of the IV Global
To enhance specific
skills in drug abuse prevention ;
To develop the
global network on drug abuse prevention;
To share best
practices on innovative approaches in drug abuse prevention;
To forge linkages
among coalitions, NGOs and prevention practitioners in drug
There were more than 300
participants from 39 countries in this conference. The
countries represented are the following:
Australia, Austria, Bangladesh,
Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Cambodia, Canada, China,
Colombia, Denmark, Fiji, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, India,
Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Kenya, Korea, Laos, Malaysia,
Maldives, Mongolia, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Pakistan, Peru,
Philippines, Poland, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Switzerland,
Thailand, Uruguay, USA and Vietnam.
The opening ceremony commenced
with the recital of blessings followed by the messages of the
honoured guests and then the keynote address. The
conference was officiated by the Hon. Dato’ Haji Zainal Abidin
Haji Zin, Deputy Minister of Home Affairs representing the
Right Honourable, Dato’ Seri Abdullah b. Haji Ahmad
Badawi, Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia. The Chief
Guest extended his greetings and warm welcome to the delegates
on behalf of the Government of Malaysia.
He stated that drug abuse and
illicit trafficking continues to plague every country in the
world despite the intensified and collaborated efforts by the
United Nations, its subsidiary bodies and countries worldwide.
suggested that all countries represented in the conference
could consider emulating the direction set by ASEAN countries
to forge ahead for a drug-free region by 2015. He urged
that countries should make concerted efforts to develop and
harmonize international drug control cooperation to enable all
countries and their citizens to enjoy a drug-free world as
soon as possible. Together we can reduce drug abuse and
He then officially declared this
IV Global Conference on Drug Abuse Prevention opened.
Ms. Kakuko Kohdaka, Japanese Counsel
Consulate General of Penang extended her greetings on behalf of
the Government of Japan. She noted the successful
contributions of Colombo Plan in the improvement of the social
and economic development of Asia and Pacific Region. To
date, the Drug Advisory Programme of Colombo Plan is the only
regional organization dealing with this menace of drug abuse.
She said that the drug problem should be dealt with through a
wide range of regional cooperation among neighbouring countries.
She stated that the conference gave
a chance to the practitioners to upgrade their skills through
their active participation and at the same time to establish a
network among GOs, NGOs and practitioners in drug abuse
She was delighted that the
Government of Japan is a sponsor of this important conference,
as this conference would provide the invaluable opportunity for
the experts and practitioners to meet in one place to share
their concerns and enhance their skills.
Mr. Thomas Browne, Deputy Director,
Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL),
US Department of State stated that the Government of United
States of America is happy to sponsor this global conference,
which is the fourth in the series. He noted the intense
commitment and cooperation of the 39 countries represented in
“The drug problem is a global
problem; it is therefore essential that this major social
scourge be fought through international cooperation. The
presence of so many delegates from different countries of the
globe who are here to exchange ideas and learn from each other
to tackle the common enemy called illicit drugs is a testimony
of their persistence and the importance given by this global
conference.” He further commended the Government of
Malaysia for the effective drug abuse prevention and control
Mr. Tay Bian How representing the
Colombo Plan DAP extended his warm greetings and further
elaborated on the role of the Colombo Plan, particularly the
Drug Advisory Programme in efforts to combat the drug menace in
He also deliberated that the DAP is
privileged to be the major partner in implementing this global
initiative since the First Global Conference at Lima, Peru and
underscored that prevention is the cornerstone in efforts to
combat the drug menace in the region.
He further stressed that the life
style of the people will change as conditions in a country
alters. This is in view of the technological advancement
in the 21st Century and the needs of the people will
certainly alter with changing environmental conditions and life
style. In view of the above, he rationalized the
skills-based approaches as compared to the cognitive-based
approaches in drug abuse prevention.
Lastly, he thanked the sponsors
namely, the Bureau for International Narcotics & Law Enforcement
Affairs (INL), US Department of State, particularly Mr. Thom
Browne and the Government of Japan for contributing to this
conference and the local host, National Drugs Agency as well as
the other collaborating agencies such as PEMADAM and IFNGO for
organizing this conference.
Dato’ Sri Aseh bin Che Mat,
Secretary General, Ministry of Home Affairs, Malaysia delivered
the keynote address. He welcomed the delegates to this
beautiful island of Penang.
He was happy to note that the theme
of this global conference is on the transfer of knowledge in the
form of skills training which should fit into the needs of the
respective countries. The transfer of technology or what
is known as skills’ transfer in crucial.
When formulating policies and
designing programmes, remember that children today are very
different from the yesteryears. They have different
priorities, social pressures, high stress levels and low moral
support from parents.
He pointed out that many religions
forbid the consumption of drugs except for medical reason.
However, many choose to ignore this prohibition when it comes to
drug abuse. People are intolerant when others commit an
act against their religion but they are less concern and
conveniently ignore the forbidden act of drug abuse. Why?
He reminded the parents to practice
their very important roles and responsibilities to their
children. The drug abuse prevention practitioners should
help the parents to enhance their parenting skills so that the
children will be able to make responsible choices and travel
confidently down the road of life.
He expected that this global
conference should be able to establish a network of GOs and NGOs
to fight drug abuse.
He said that it is most unfortunate
that the workshop on utilization of cyberspace technologies in
drug abuse prevention was cancelled. He suggested that
countries in the Asian region should develop websites about
drugs targeting the youth. He gave a caution that the
websites should respect the cultural values, tradition and
diversities in the region.e an impact and bring about youth
empowerment to stay away from drugs and drug abuse.
Finally, he reminded the delegates
that practical programmes and strategies should work hand in
hand with the strong political will in their respective
countries in preventing and controlling drug abuse.
Dato’ Wan Ibrahim Wan Ahmad as the
chairperson of the organizing committee extended his heartfelt
thanks to the Right Honourable Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia
cum Minister of Home Affairs Malaysia for officiating the
opening ceremony of this Global Conference.
He also thanked the State Government
of Penang for the full support extended to the organizing
committee and the delegates.
Further, he thanked the Government
of United States of America especially the Bureau of
International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) for
their generous contribution to this conference.
The Colombo Plan was also cited,
particularly Mr. Tay Bian How, the Director of the Drug Advisory
Programme and the officers of this Global Conference for working
very hard to ensure the success of this conference.
The delegates who travel from all
over the world to attend this conference were also given special
attention. It is hoped that every delegate will have the
opportunity to enhance at least one drug prevention skill in
this conference and the enhanced skill will certainly contribute
to the fight against drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking.
Our united efforts should rid the world of drug abuse.
PLENARY SESSION I: (13 MAY, 2002)
SKILLS FOR DRUG ABUSE
educate individuals on skills’ development during or at early
integrate life skills in the school curricula.
Getting young people involved in their communities and
Focus on skill development so that prevention will really
Sustainability of activities is very necessary in all primary
Enhancement of life skills must be integrated into youths’,
parents’, and schools’ and workplaces’ activities/programmes.
Prevention practitioners should look up-stream not down-stream
before planning any activity.
SESSION II: (14 May, 2002)
BEST PRACTICES ON DRUG ABUSE
recommendations were raised during this session due to time
constraint. However from the presentations a programme can be
considered a best practice when it has successfully achieved a
better ‘measurable condition’ within a period of time.
Continuous monitoring, evaluation & research are needed to
sustain the achieved results and improvements must be made where
PLENARY SESSION III: (14 May, 2002)
FACING CHALLENGES AGAINST ATS -
and drug education programmes need to be established and
Strengthening research activities helps to deepen knowledge on
Decision-making skills and effective communication skills are
vital for preventing oneself from being involved in drugs.
is important for implementing programmes on the dangers of
capacity building in ATS identification and
youth/youngsters on the dangers of ATS should not cover/expose
the “positive” effects of its use.
advised to be proactive in identifying high-risk students.
celebrities to be made role-models or working team-partners in
drug prevention programmes.
PLENARY SESSION IV: (16 May, 2002)
Persuade Governments on the value
and importance of funding drug prevention activities.
support and patronage of the political leadership.
will is an essential condition for creating a drug-free
CONCURRENT WORKSHOPS: (13 May, 2002)
FAMILIES AGAINST DRUG ABUSE
Strengthen family values,
traditions and practices.
Harm-minimization as a Government policy is a roadblock to
within the family is needed to accept the return of the
recovering family member. Family counseling is
needed to help families change their attitude and accept the
‘informed parents’ in order to drug-proof children.
strengthen basic religious values.
family and parent education into existing Drug Prevention
CONCURRENT WORKSHOPS: (14 May, 2002)
YOUTH FACING THE CHALLENGE
Need for NGOs and Governmental
Organizations to work together.
Youth to be
involved in decision-making and should freely express their
opinions regarding drug prevention.
should give more attention to their children and their
state agencies should take stringent measures to stop the
supply of illicit drugs and chemical precursors.
CONCURRENT WORKSHOPS: (14 May, 2002) ROLE
OF FAITH-BASED ORGANIZATIONS IN DRUG DEMAND REDUCTION
Discussions should be held and
ideas should be shared among the community members.
institutions need to upgrade their services so as to be more
accessible to high-risk groups.
should play their role effectively.
those in need of help and the means to help them.
CONCURRENT WORKSHOPS: (15 May, 2002)
DRUGS AND YOUR HEALTH – A
Treatment services should be more
responsible particularly regarding careful prescribing,
dispensing and administering substitute medication to addicts.
aggressive treatment may be essential in order to prevent the
rapid progression to severe illness and death.
CONCURRENT WORKSHOPS: (15 May, 2002)
ROLE OF LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS IN DRUG PREVENTION
Narcotics control strategies should involve supply and demand
enforcement officers, as role-models, should work with youths
and community members in the overall drug prevention strategy.
Activities such as holiday camps, focusing on leadership and
team-building organized by the police and army are also good
training provided to youth to enhance their social
responsibility and life skills.
enforcement in anti-narcotics initiatives must include
effective prosecution, freezing of assets of traffickers,
countering money laundering, speedy trials and the
establishment of special courts.
enforcement should adopt a multi-agency approach in an
integrated and comprehensive manner to eradicate drug abuse.
enforcement officials need to be trained in order to address
the various target populations such as youth with a view to
enhancing their coping and life skills towards a better
quality of life. This approach enhances demand reduction in
the long-term amongst youth.
There is a need to consider a combined approach by law
enforcement and prevention officials with regards to
programmes in schools to educate them on the dangers of drug
abuse through enhanced knowledge, awareness of life-skills and
Basic information on drug abuse and how to eradicate it has to
be incorporated in the school syllabus with the cooperation of
the Education Ministry. Officials from law enforcement and
prevention may be included as facilitators. In this context
the police and army may also be utilized to this end.
Close monitoring of trends and activities, vis-à-vis supply
and demand needs to be undertaken in order to strategically
combat the drug menace. Relevant agencies should be mobilized
and resources utilized optimally towards an efficient and
concerted effort in eradicating the drug scourge.
CONCURRENT WORKSHOPS: (15 May, 2002)
CHRONIC STRESS AND SUBSTANCE
ABUSE – A SCIENTIFIC PRESENTATION
Create awareness among the drug
addicts that it is a myth that drugs, including A.T.S., have
any ‘superman’ qualities.
pleasurable area of the brain is permanently damaged there is
no such thing as a recovered addict. Patients are in a
state of active recovery and have to be cautioned against
parents coping skills, life skills and parenting skills using
the existing infrastructure of the Government to include all
working “mums and dads”.
CONCURRENT WORKSHOPS: (15 May, 2002)
DRUG ABUSE PREVENTION TARGETING
Both Government and Non-Government
Organizations have to work co-operatively to help street kids
because they are highly sensitive to drug abuse.
The best way to prevent people in
slum areas from using drugs is to give them security and by
providing enough infrastructures.
Infrastructure must be provided to
the marginalized in accordance with 3 basic needs: living
condition, reward and appreciative care.
Besides persuading street children
to join drug treatment and rehabilitation programmes,
governments, NGO’s and other agencies in every nation have to
find ways to reintegrate and bring them into the mainstream of
Media have to consider their role
in advertising so that their consumers will be well protected.
CONCURRENT WORKSHOPS: (16 May,
2002) EXEMPLARY DRUG-FREE WORKPLACE PROGRAMME
Commitment and support from top
management for an effective and sustainable drug prevention
program in the workplace.
Written policies and guidelines on
processes, evaluation and achievement indicators, should be
the basis of an effective workplace programme.
Sufficient resources to implement
programs and activities.
Right approach leads to right
attitude and cooperation.
CONCURRENT WORKSHOPS: (16
May, 2002) EARLY INTERVENTION PROGRAMMES IN
The development and implementation
of early intervention programmes must be done carefully.
should be given training on prevention of drug abuse to
safeguard their children.
Create awareness among school
officials and teachers on the importance of undertaking and
implementing early intervention programmes in schools.
Anti drug messages should be
developed by anti-drug practitioners and disseminated to
target groups via mass-media, on regular basis.
All programmes should be evaluated
To consider the establishment of a
National Council for the Prevention of Drug and Substance
Abuse with representation from GOs and NGOs, Civil Society,
Private Sector, Academics and Research Institutions to monitor
the implementation of Drug and Substance Abuse Prevention
Programmes in countries that do not have such an organization.
To prevent children and youth from
being lured to addiction of “gateway drugs”. Government and
Sports Organizations should not permit and condone tobacco and
alcohol companies to sponsor sports and youth events and the
telecast of such events. Governments should assume
responsibility to sponsor such events in the absence of
acceptable alternate sponsors. Governments should take
cognizance of the long-term health, social and economic costs
of tobacco and alcohol addiction, which outweighs the
short-term returns of advertising and sponsorship by tobacco
and alcohol companies. Specifically, Governments and FIFA
should ensure tobacco and alcohol-free sports during the
forthcoming World Cup in Japan and the Republic of Korea.
We call on National Governments to
work together with the pharmaceutical industry, medical
practitioners and drug abuse prevention professionals to
effectively combat the increasing abuse of prescription drugs.
The programme started with the
representative from the Americas, Mr. Ben Jenkins from Canada
praising the Asian countries with their strong commitment to
fight drug abuse. He said that these countries should go
with their strategies, which are found to be effective. He
noted that the network is becoming very “rich”. He thanked
the organizers and sponsors of this conference on behalf of the
Dr. Philip Lazarov from Denmark
spoke on behalf of the European countries. He said that
perhaps in the future there would be more countries, which
should participate in this global conference. There are 5
European countries represented out of about 40
countries represented here in the conference. He noted the
very clear message in this global conference, “Yes to Life”.
He also thanked the organizers and sponsors, particularly the
Government of Malaysia. He noted the beautiful smiling
faces of the Asians.
Mrs. Estella Ponce from the
Philippines represented the Asian countries. She thanked
the organizing committee and sponsors for giving the delegates
the opportunity to share and acquire skills from each other.
She particularly praised the young advocates for drug abuse
prevention who are determined to succeed in their tasks, that is
the world without drugs and adopt the motto, go for a drug-free
nation / world.
Mr. Tay Bian How from the Colombo
Plan joined the previous 3 speakers to thank the following:
US Government and the Government of Japan for funding this
of Malaysia, particularly the National Drugs Agency and other
collaborating agencies such as PEMADAM and IFNGO for
successfully organizing the conference
sponsors such as Zesta Tea, Celcom Malaysia and Viva Revival Sdn
Bhd for funding publicity banners
delegates, particularly chairpersons, trainers, paper presenters
and rapporteurs for their active participation and making this
conference a success
He further stated that the DAP was
extremely pleased with the outcome of the conference and praised
all concerned that were instrumental in the successful
implementation of the IV Global Conference although we had
hardly 2 months to organize this huge conference with the
participation of more than 300 participants from 39 countries.
The Hon. Dato’ Haji Wan Ibrahim bin
Wan Ahmad, Director General of the National Drugs Agency,
Ministry of Home Affairs delivered the closing remarks. He
said that it is time to share the best practices in innovative
strategies for drug abuse prevention.
Further, he stated that to achieve a drug-free world, all
countries should not solve the problem in isolation.
Literacy, poverty and other basic human needs of life should be
addressed clearly. There is a need to continue the
cooperation and collaboration of governments beyond this
conference. He thanked all the delegates for coming,
particularly those who traveled a long way. It is an
indication of the commitment to combat the drug problem.
He thanked Colombo Plan, US
Department of State and the Japanese Government and officially
declared the conference closed.
The certificates of participation
were handed over by country arranged alphabetically.
The IV Global Conference on
Drug Abuse Prevention came to an end successfully in a
IV Global Conference on Drug Prevention Resolution: