Prevention is an area accorded the highest attention by Chithuen Phenday Association (CPA) as the early use of alcohol and drugs increases a person’s chances of becoming addicted. Additionally, these risks increase greatly during times of transition. For an adult, a divorce or loss of a job may increase the raisk. For teenagers, factors like family divorce, peer pressure and others like transition may light the spark. For instance, when children advance from elementary through middle school, they face new and challenging social, family, and academic situations and are introduced and exposed to substances such as cigarettes and alcohol for the first time. At the same time, the parts of the brain that control judgment and decision-making do not fully develop until people are in their early or mid-20s. This limits a teen’s ability to accurately assess the risks of alcohol and drug experimentation and makes young people more vulnerable to peer pressure. Due to the above cited factors, CPA has launched several preventive programs across the country targeting the vulnerable groups and those who can play very important roles in preventing a child from experimentation and addiction.
Some of the programs launched are:
- Prevention through ACEs
- Mindful Parenting
- Youth & Adolescents Program
- Community Based Drug Abuse
A study conducted by CPA found that among 400 drug and alcohol affected clients who came for rehabilitation treatment at the center, 98% was found to have suffered ACEs.
Another informal study involving caregivers, educators and mostly parents conducted found that 95% of the respondents were unaware of it. Thus, in implementing CPA’s preventive programs, sufficient focus will be provided to disseminate information about ACE. In order to do this, CPA will conduct an ACE study also within 2022, to ensure that programs developed are in line with the needs of the country. This study will also enable CPA to identify crucial human capacity required and to liaise and collaborate with stakeholders like the Ministry of Health (MoH) to include ACE as one of the required formal standard operating procedures (SOP) for every patient. CPA will also take the concept of ACE to workplaces and schools around the country.
This program will be done through platforms used in the past.
Families and parents are at the forefront in preventing a wide range of social and health problems, including substance abuse, violence against children, juvenile delinquency, and behavoural problems. Measures to prevent substance abuse should begin from inside the family and as early as possible. There are many benefits of home-based drug prevention education including self-awareness, enhancement of parent-child communication skills and bonding. Parents have a significant influence in setting rules for acceptable behaviours, closely monitor free time and friendship patterns and become role models while helping their children acquire skills to make informed decisions. The Mindful Family Program is a family based session that aims to enhance positive and responsible parenting skills and knowledge and promote the healthy and safe household environment for development of children. The main components of this program are education and awareness building to prevent drug use, violence and other negative social consequences in their children. The goals of the program are to promote positive parenting practices and encourage nurturing behaviors through imparting basic child development and communication skills. Beginning in 2015, in four years, the program reached out to 5753 people, comprising office goers, teachers and others who had children. 18 districts were covered.
More than ever, today, our youth and adolescents are vulnerable to many risks, including drug abuse, mental health issues, violence, and HIV/AIDS. Many reports and studies have substantiated the prevalence of the use of harmful illegal products, including inhaling or ingesting everyday household products, alcohol, illicit pharmaceutical drugs, marijuana and others. Responding to these risks before they become challenging problems is urgent. The goals of the CPA’s youth drug education and awareness program is to empower our young people with life skills, prevention education and support system to enhance their potentials to grow up healthy and become productive citizens.
Drug abuse is everyone’s problem. From one individual it has the potency to multiply and become a community’s problem. Thus, communities that make an effort to come together in the fight against drugs are found to have an impact in the prevention of drug abuse. Based on this, CPA’s preventive programs have reached out to 9,048 people, ranging from taxi drivers, families of armed forces, vegetable vendors and even local government officials.