WASHINGTON, April 22, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- At a recent United Nations meeting in Vienna with Swedish counter drug officials, Gil Kerlikowske, Director of U.S. National Drug Control Policy, said sharing information on drug policy across national borders is key in combating the global drug epidemic.
Mr. Kerlikowske held out Sweden, with whom the U.S. partners in its drug prevention efforts, as a country with comprehensive drug policies that the U.S. can learn from.
"Sweden's commitments to drug education, treatment for drug addicts, and enforcement efforts have led to significant decreases in drug use over the past three decades, and serve as a successful model for our effort in the United States," Mr. Kerlikowske said according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
Yvonne Thunell, chairman of the Mentor Foundation, a leading international non-profit drug prevention organization founded in Sweden in 1994, applauds Director Kerlikowske's message about the importance of global cooperation on drug policy. Ms. Thunell also adds that Mentor, which has a new office in Washington D.C. and many chapter organizations around the world, is on the forefront of this type of international cooperation and eager to play an active role in this partnership.
"At the very core of Mentor is the conviction that prevention and education are key and that we have to work globally to achieve progress," Ms. Thunell says.
Mentor is already using prevention models from Sweden in other corners of the world and plans to adopt them in the United States soon. Many of these models involve the business community. Sweden is widely considered a useful model for drug prevention efforts since it has declining levels of drug use as opposed to many of its European neighbors, according to the U.N.
"Mentor Foundation has implemented school mentoring programs in Northern Europe in successful partnership with the business community over the last eight years," Ms. Thunell says. "These programs support youth at risk of substance abuse, helping them gain self-confidence and skills to prevent drug use and to develop the skills needed to become productive members of the global community."
Mentor Foundation is excited to start its first prevention programs in the U.S. in the coming year. They will be piloted in Washington D.C.
"Mentor Foundation is eager to start working in the United States and to partner with the White House Drug Office under the direction of Mr. Kerlikowske," Ms. Thunell says.
For more information on the Mentor Foundation USA: www.mentorfoundation.org/usa.
Contact: Suzanne Edam
Tel 202 556 5021
SOURCE The Mentor Foundation