Youth Peer to Peer Prevention [Friends in Focus]

Implementing Organization

The youth-based prevention tool, Friends in Focus, aims to equip older adolescents with the needed life and social skills to prevent drug use in younger adolescents through peer-to-peer engagement. This tool (currently in development) is rooted in by the UNODC WHO International Standards on Drug Use Prevention and is designed to be delivered by youth for youth, without daily facilitation by adults. 

Accomplishments to Date

A group of 20 experts in youth drug use prevention in youth from diverse regions and graduates from the UNODC Youth Forum are working together with 2 expert developers to design Friends in Focus with the aim of getting the tool ready for piloting during 2024.  
Initial potential piloting countries are Italy, Central Asia and one country in Southeast Europe.  

Project Activities

The programme is currently designed to be six 2-hour sessions, each focusing on different skills. Course developers will train peer leaders delivering each session who will further strengthen their skills through interactions with their friends and peer group. Each peer leader can train 18 peers per session, which will create a cascade effect. 

Global Level Outcomes

On a policy level, UNODC includes youth in decision-making processes through the Youth Initiative/Youth Forum. This new programme will offer opportunities at the grassroots level, allowing youth to be agents of prevention in their communities through an evidence-based tool.  

National Level Outcomes

Youth engaged in drug prevention working at the community level will be equipped with an evidence based tool through which they can empower other youth with the needed social skills in line with the UNODC/WHO International Standards on Drug Use Prevention  

Current State Participants

Italy, Central Asia (2 countries under selection, Southeast Europe (1 country under selection). 


Wadih Maalouf, UNODC Coordinator Drug Prevention (wadih [dot] maalouf [at] un [dot] org (wadih[dot]maalouf[at]un[dot]org))