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Youth R.I.S.E: Resources. Information. Support. Education for Reducing Drug-Related Harm

About  About
Title: Youth R.I.S.E: Resources. Information. Support. Education for Reducing Drug-Related Harm
Location: Global
Categories: Education
Human Rights
Substance Abuse

Status: In Progress
Timeline: Ongoing

Many young people use drugs at some point in their lives; the majority do so with little or no resultant harm. But many youth, lacking information, support, and resources, are at risk of drug-related harms such as overdose, HIV or hepatitis infection or arrest. The majority of these risks & harms can be reduced through honest education, provision of safer means of using drugs & implementation of humane drug laws: this is harm reduction.

Youth RISE is youth-driven and set up to work with young people from around the world to reduce the risks and harms associated with substance use. Youth RISE focuses on youth peer-to-peer leadership, with youth supported by mentors.
We want your input! We are trying to shape the network based on the priorities of youth from around the world.

What do you want to know about harm reduction?

How is it relevant to your life? To your community or region in the world?

What do you want to know from others about harm reduction?

We are looking for young people with experience in harm reduction to participate in the Network, but everyone with an interest in welcome to participate!

Our network is a new initiative that seeks to build the capacity of young people addressing drug-related harm in their countries. Given the growing rates of HIV infection among young people due to injecting drug use, and the multiple other harms, risks and barriers youth face with regards to drug-related harms (including alcohol) we hope to engage young people into the decision-making process in order to develop interventions that will be effective for our peer groups. For this reason, we are looking for young people who already have experience in harm reduction and drug policy to participate and to help shape the vision, goals and priorities of the network, from a global perspective.

Here are some of the criteria we’ve determined (not all are required):
- Experience working or participating in harm reduction programs or initiatives (this could include alcohol reduction programs, syringe exchanges, peer education, and anything that is working towards reducing the harms associated with substanc/druge use)
- Basic knowledge of harm reduction philosophy and a desire to learn more
- Experience working to reduce drug or alcohol-related harm to young people
- Experience in HIV/AIDS or Hepatitis C prevention, treatment or support
- Current or former self-identified drug user
- Current or former street-involvement or homelessness

If you know or are someone who is interested, please contact us at and SIGN UP to this website group!

Youth RISE represents a youth-led initiative aiming to increase the engagement and social inclusion of young people in the policies and decisions that affect their lives, thereby both increasing the effectiveness of programmes and services, and the health outcomes of the children and youth involved. Youth RISE also recognises that primary prevention is one aspect of harm reduction that is often glossed over (since harm reduction implicitly works with current users), but it has a central and important role to play amongst young people.

Young people face a wide range of specific barriers when it comes to accessing harm reduction services, advocating for harm reduction interventions or engaging with harm reduction organisations or donors at a national, regional or international level. Street children, young drug users, and young people involved in the sex trade often face extreme marginalisation and social exclusion. These are some of the areas that we will be focusing on:

• Harm Reduction Knowledge – for young people and service providers

• Discriminatory Policies – to reduce barriers, stigma and criminalisation

• Creating effective Harm Reduction Services – relevant and accessible

• Increase of Research and Evidence – on youth and harm reduction issues

• Increase of Training Opportunities – for youth and service providers

• Street Children and Youth – to better address their specific needs

Please join us to achieve these goals and working towards better meeting the needs of young people affected by substance use and drug policies. The themes above were created during a planning meeting of 20 young people from around the world in conjunction with the 18th International Conference on Drug-Related Harm. With support from the UK Department for International Development and the International Harm Reduction Association, and in partnership with the Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS and UNICEF, we are able to continue to develop this initiative beyond the planning stages.

Contact Name: Allen Kwabena Frimpong
Contact Email Address:
Contact Phone Number: 00 +1 2122136376 ext. 31

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