The Paradigma Youth Coalition launches the “Youth Response to the 2023 World Drug Report”

[Vienna, August 21, 2023] – The Paradigma Youth Coalition is a global alliance of youth-led organizations committed to driving transformational change in drug policy. This report marks the coalition’s second response to the World Drug Report, following the success of their inaugural 2021 response. Paradigma’s mission is to foster a multilateral support system for young advocates engaged in international drug policy, educate members on global drug policy processes, and promote youth-centered representation at the United Nations.

Youth-Driven Insights for a New Paradigm in Drug Policy

The “Youth Response to the 2023 World Drug Report” delves into crucial aspects of drug policy that impact young people and communities worldwide. Authored by Charity Monareng, Ruby Lawlor, Iulia Vatau, Rebeca Marques Rocha, Arvy Kumar, Rebeca Calzada, and Jesse Hudspeth, the document offers a comprehensive analysis of:

  • Inequalities Exacerbating Health Problems Associated with Drug Use: The Youth Response sheds light on the barriers young people face in accessing harm reduction and treatment services, stressing the need for youth-informed services and comprehensive support to ensure their well-being.
  • Drug Education in Schools: Paradigma emphasizes the importance of evidence-based and harm-reduction-focused drug education in schools, advocating for programs that equip young people with the knowledge to make informed choices.
  • Cannabis Use Amongst Young People Who Use Drugs: The Youth Response critically examines the challenges and opportunities presented by cannabis legalization, urging inclusive and equitable approaches that address the needs of marginalized communities.
  • Illegal Drug Economies: Converging Crimes and Conflict: The youth-authored document explores the complex impacts of drug trafficking on the environment, indigenous communities, and young people, calling for holistic responses that prioritize human rights, health, and sustainable development.
  • Illegal Supply Innovations and Synthetic Drugs: Paradigma highlights the importance of harm reduction interventions, drug checking services, and revisiting international drug control schedules to address emerging challenges.
  • Shifting Policy and Research: The response applauds innovative responses to drug service provision during the COVID-19 pandemic and emphasizes the need for equitable drug policy reforms that prioritize human rights and community well-being.

Paradigma’s Call to Action

Through this Youth Response, Paradigma underscores the necessity of involving young people in shaping progressive drug policies. The coalition calls on the international community to prioritize evidence-based approaches, inclusivity, and harm reduction strategies that promote the health, safety, and dignity of all individuals, especially the youth.

The “Youth Response to the 2023 World Drug Report” is a testament to the power of young voices in the pursuit of a new paradigm in drug policy. By fostering dialogue and collaboration, the Paradigma Youth Coalition aims to drive meaningful change that positively impacts communities worldwide.

The Launch Event of the Report will take place online on Monday, August 28th | 16:00 GMT. Register here for the online event. To access the full “Youth Response to the 2023 World Drug Report,” visit this link

For media inquiries, please contact Rebeca Marques Rocha (

Follow Paradigma Youth Coalition, Students for Sensible Drug Policies International and Youth RISE social media for updates and insights.