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September 2, 2020
The newspaper El Mercurio in Chile interviewed Carlos Charme the Director of SENDA (Service for Drug and Alcohol Prevention and Rehabilitation) August 31 on the difficult situation due to the COVID pandemic in 2020 and the project „Elige vivir sin drogas“.
Marijuana-use among young people are high in Chile in comparison to other nations in Latin-America based on a comparison from the UN. But instead of giving up to the problem, and legalize the drug, the Chilean government decided to change the situation and introduced their project „Elige vivir sin drogas“ based on the Planet Youth methodology in 2019.
Since then Chilean authorities have faced many challenges, with COVID being the biggest obstacle to date. The pandemic has hit Chile hard over the last months and with schools not operating in a regular manner it has created difficulties both in taking actions but also to continue mapping the situation with the Planet Youth survey, which now is being implemented in 150 municipalities in Chile.
The Chilean authorities with SENDA and director Carlos Charme at the forefront have quickly adapted to the situation. This summer SENDA organized remote training for teachers, sent messages to children through social networks and their teachers, provided information for parents on the web. In June a virtual training was held with recommendations for physical activities at home.
Now Chilean authorities have decided to use online surveys, with the help of ICSRA-Planet Youth, in order to enable the teenagers to complete the Planet Youth survey from their home-school environment. This will without doubt give vital information on the environment and well-being of children in the midst of the pandemic.