Review of adolescent substance use and responses in the WHO Western Pacific Region

image - Who Western Pacific Region
Project Supporters:

World Health Organization

Project Members: 
image - 1314150283 John Howard
Dr John Howard
Conjoint Senior Lecturer
Dr Hammad Ali
Conjoint Senior Lecturer
Project Main Description: 

Substance use amongst adolescents (those in the age group of 10-19) is an important public health issue in many countries of the region. For effective program development and support, it is necessary to get a sense of situation and determinants to develop appropriate strategies so that the health sector (including school health or youth friendly services) can respond to the problems in a meaningful manner. This project aimed to identify the issues in the area of adolescents and substance use within the Western Pacific Region (WPR).

Project Collaborators: External: 

Lisa Robins
(formerly NDARC)


The aim of the regional review was to understand the issues in the area of adolescents and substance use within the Western Pacific Region (WPR). The review was to identify what substances are used, how large a problem is it, who is using the substances, why are they using them and what is currently done about it? In addition the review needs to focus upon what kind of prevention efforts, policies and strategies have countries put in place to prevent or limit substance use among adolescents, what evidence do we have for the effectiveness of different methods/interventions, and how is the health sector involved in this area? 

Design and Method: 

Desk review of white and grey literature, websites and interviews with key informants.


Report to WHO/WPRO - please see the 'Resources' section below for a copy.

Papers submitted. 

The identification of substance use by adolescents and young people in the WPR, despite serious availability and quality of data issues. Key issues for prevention and treatment were canvassed, in addition to suggestions for improvements in data. Recommendations are leading to more concentrated focus on targeted prevention and treatment interventions and programming, and what role the health sector must plan. 

Project Status: 
Year Completed: