Youth RISE (Resource. Information. Support. Education) is an international, youth-led organisation of young people committed to confronting the reality that young people today live in a world where drugs are more accessible on the street than the education and resources needed to reduce their harm. Current drug policies focused on prevention ignore the reality that some young people around the world use drugs for a variety of reasons, and they are getting sick, being incarcerated, and too often being shunned from society. This is unacceptable. Youth RISE aims to raise-up the voices of young people affected by drug policy, those who use drugs and those who seek to empower them.We are a membership based network.
MISSION & VISION
Youth RISE is a youth led network promoting evidence based drug policies and harm reduction strategies with the involvement of young people who use drugs and are affected by drug policies. Youth RISE envisions a world where society responds to drug use among young people through humane and evidence based policy and practice.
WHAT WE DO
Youth RISE engages in a range of activities centred around drug policy reform and advocacy for harm reduction interventions for young people. You can find out more about what we do do below
Despite overwhelming evidence of its effectiveness in reducing drug related harm, harm reduction approaches are yet to be accepted as a viable and effective way to reduce harms among youth. The predominant approach to drug use among young people remains drug prevention, ‘just say no to drugs’ campaigns, forced treatment and law enforcement. Youth RISE believes a more balanced approach is urgently needed, which involves non-judgmental service provision and which recognises the need to reduce harms among young people who use drugs.
We offer training on a range of drug policy / harm reduction issues with a particular focus on young people who use drugs. This include training for service providers on youth friendly harm reduction, how can you engage young people who use drugs in your service, and what are age appropriate harm reduction interventions and what do you need to do differently to cater for young people who use drugs. Training for young people who use drugs on how to reduce drug related harm.
To date, we have carried out peer education trainings with young people who use drugs in over 20 countries using a peer-to-peer approach. As well as training for young people in general on drug policy issues and how young people can be more active in the debate, whether through group sessions or online E-courses.
If you would like more information about our training sessions, would like Youth RISE to facilitate a training in your country or support an organisation in its implemention of youth friendly harm reduction services, please contact us.
Youth RISE exists as a response to the punitive approach that currently dominates the current international framework and the misguided drug policies that are promoted to ‘protect’ young people, yet instead cause significant harm. Current drug policies have disastrous and far reaching consequences for young people, from denial of health services, to reduced educational, employment and other opportunities, to numerous human rights violations. Despite clear evidence that young people are significantly affected by drug policy and use, policy makers, service providers and the international community fail to address young peoples’ specific needs and issues. They are often excluded from discussions and decisions regarding the most appropriate and humane policies and practices to respond to drug use among young people.
Youth RISE advocates for humane drug policies for young people and provides a space for young people to advocate for policy reform at an international level.
Youth RISE has supported the establishment of four national groups/organisations in countries (Nigeria, Nepal, Lebanon, Kyrgzstan). They are important for creating a movement at a national level, engaging more people in the Youth RISE network, opening up possibilities sustainability, improving national level advocacy, and opening up possibilities for additional fundraising. They have also been important for informing our international work and advocacy and will continue to be key members of the Youth RISE network.</p>
Group representatives will remain part of the network structure through a reserved place on our International Working Group, and mutual support will continue through communication from the local and national level groups up to the secretariat, as well as from the secretariat to the ground.