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A walk campaign to prevent drug abuse

By Racheal Nabisubi

Added 8th September 2016 11:45 AM

Ezra Tumuhirwe, Addiction Counsellor and Prevention Specialist at Uganda Christian University (UCU) says alcohol and other Drug Abuse is on the increase in Uganda especially among the youth and yet the problem has not been given the attention it deserves.

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Ezra Tumuhirwe, Addiction Counsellor and Prevention Specialist at Uganda Christian University (UCU) says alcohol and other Drug Abuse is on the increase in Uganda especially among the youth and yet the problem has not been given the attention it deserves.

In a bid to prevent drug abuse, a national alcohol and drug abuse awareness walk campaign has been organised to empower alcohol and drug abuse groups with skills and knowledge to resist and fight the substance.

Ezra Tumuhirwe, Addiction Counsellor and Prevention Specialist at Uganda Christian University (UCU) says alcohol and other Drug Abuse is on the increase in Uganda especially among the youth and yet the problem has not been given the attention it deserves.

"There is need to build momentum for comprehensive prevention and treatment approaches that aim at changing the physical, social, legal, and economic environments of communities," Tumuhirwe said.

He notes that the environmental approach recognises the abuser is influenced at multiple levels such as personal, peer, institutional, community, and policy levels
 
Researchers have shown a close link between drug abuse, student academic performance, crime, social justice costs, family disintegration, violence, security threats, HIV/AIDS, poor work productivity, youth life challenges, teenage pregnancies, human trafficking, abuse and poverty.

According to The study entitled: "High risk study among slum youths in Kampala City" that  was conducted by Uganda Youth Development Link (UYDEL) among 1,134 individuals in selected slums in Kampala, it was found that 46% of the youths aged between 12 and 18 take alcohol while 42% had their first sexual intercourse at age 14.

The report adds that high-risk youth living in the slums of Kampala report a high prevalence of HIV and HIV-related sexual risk practices as well as sexual victimisation.

The report further indicates that the results provide evidence that increased comprehensive and multi-level prevention and intervention services focus on vulnerable population in trying to delay their alcohol use and address the underlying determinants of substance use to reduce the spread of HIV/Aids. .

Tumuhirwe said that the walk campaign is also aimed at offering information, teaching, psychosocial support, advocacy and research for spiritual growth and social change.

He added: "Advocacy is required to disseminate information about Alcohol and Other drug abuse in addition to offering solutions and preventive actions to this emerging problem."


The walk campaign is scheduled to take place on 10th September, 2016 starting at Cafe Javas Kamwokya to Watooto Church and finally back to Cafe Javas. 

The event will be flagged off by the Prime Minister of Uganda, Rt. Hon. Ruhakana Rugunda.

UCU developed Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD) Prevention Programme on campus.

The AOD programme relates to the University mission by empowering the target groups with skills and knowledge to resist and fight substance abuse through information, education and communication, psychosocial support, advocacy and research for spiritual growth and social change.

 

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