UNODC Supports Family Skills Training Programmes In Iran

TEHRAN, 27 November 2013 (UNIC)—Representative of United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in the Islamic Republic of Iran Mr. Leik Boonwaat said here Tuesday that evidence-based parenting skills and family skills training programmes have been found to be the most effective way to prevent substance use among children and adolescents.

Addressing the award giving ceremony to appreciate the efforts of Mr. Bijan Birang, the Director of the educational film “Parenting: Healthy Youth”, Boonwaat said that these programmes offer     skills-building for parents on monitoring and supervision of children's' activities, communication as well as setting age appropriate limits.

He added that the programmes improve  family functioning, organization, communication and interpersonal relationships and have been found to have multiple positive outcomes for children and adolescents including decreased drug use, increased child attachment to school and academic performance, decreased child depression and aggression, increased child social competence and pro-social behaviour and decrease family conflicts.

He pointed out that the UNODC Country Office of Iran as part of its efforts to promote evidence-based practice has initiated to support family skills training programmes in the Islamic Republic of Iran from 2005, such as developing “Healthy Youth" package for schools, covering students, teachers as well as parents; Package on "Parenting", developed for rural areas; Package on "Positive Parenting is Prevention" (aged 10–13); Package for Parents of High Risk Students (aged 13–16); Families and Schools Together (FAST), (aged 5-6); Family Strengthening Programme (SFP), (aged 6-11 and current educational film for "Healthy Youth" (aged 10-13).

Also speaking at the ceremony, Director General of International Relations Office of the Drug Control Headquarters of the Islamic Republic of Iran (DCHQ) Mahmoud Bayat said DCHQ in its efforts to fight against narcotic drugs implements drug demand reduction projects which are based on increasing public awareness, enhancing public knowledge and developing public life skills.

“Arts play a major role with regard to drug demand reduction and we strongly believe arts contribute to the successful implementation of any project and activity,” he added.

Deputy Drug Demand Reduction of DCHQ Mr. Babak Dinparast told the audience that by the end of 2012, some 240 million people worldwide have used narcotic drugs at least once in their life time. “Narcotic drugs cannot be rooted out, but demand for them can be reduced,” he added.  

In 2008 UNODC Country Office of Iran settled on to produce the Audio-visual Parenting Skills training package for parents of students. Subsequently UNODC signed a contract with a well-known film director, Mr. Bijan Birang for production of the film. In this context, numerous meetings were organized with Iranian experts from DCHQ, Ministry of Education, Tehran Municipality and religious experts in this field as well as film production team in order to tailor made the package for Iranian culture. United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) Office in Iran also contributed for production of the film. The efforts resulted in production of a high quality audio-visual package in 2012. This educational film was finalized in the framework of the UNODC Programme of Technical Cooperation on Drugs and Crime (2011-2014) and based on the scientific and evidence based theories and approaches in the drug use prevention field, aiming to promote the positive parenting programmes in the drug use prevention in the country.