20 years ago there were different messages about alcohol and drug use and how to keep people safe.

We now believe so strongly in a harm reduction approach, but back then scare tactics were boldly used. 20 years ago actress Rachael Leigh Cook violently took a frying pan to an egg and a house, trying to demonstrate how Heroin affects a person’s brain, family and friends. In 2017 there is a very different message being delivered in a newly released advertisement

We now know scare tactics don’t work to reduce alcohol and drug use or reduce the harms around use. We have seen Portugal make some BIG changes to their approach to drug and alcohol use with some really amazing and positive outcomes. We also see Iceland has some really great ideas that are making a big difference for young people.

The Global Commission on Drug Policy are a body of influential leaders and thinkers aiming to scale-up the harm reduction message and promote development in the AoD sector. In this video we hear Richard Branson (Yep, that guy!) discussing drug use and whether or not it should be seen as a health problem or a legal problem. We need to understand that it costs less to care for a person than it does to punish them. Here we can see the development of global AoD policies in 2016.

For a better understanding of harm reduction have a look at the Youth Aod Toolbox. Our partners at Dovetail have this great video explaining harm reduction and here are some universal harm reduction tips.