Drug abuse is a global public health challenge.
According to the World Drug Report 2017, an estimated two hundred and fifty (250) million people used drugs at least once in 2015. Much has been made of the drug use situation in Nigeria in recent months. However, because of the paucity of quality data, the real state of affairs may not be known. Anecdotal reports also suggest a very high rate of abuse of tramadol and codeine in codeine containing cough syrups. Drug use is particularly very high among young adults.
The NAFDAC YADA project is a school based drug use prevention program funded by the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and implemented in collaboration with the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria – Young Pharmacists Group (PSNYPG). It aims to reduce the prevalence of the abuse of drugs (alcohol, cigarettes, prescription medicines and illicit drugs) by addressing the academic and social needs of secondary school students.
The program is based on the ‘social influence’ approach, that is, the belief that young people begin to use drugs because of their self image and/or social pressures. The program is composed of three main components:
(i) Preventive education Series
(ii) Positive Parenting
The target group of students for this program are JSS1, SSS1 and SSS3 students as this cohort represents the transitory phases in secondary school life where research indicates that initiation into drug use is highest. In the course of the program, 6 Sessions per session (2 sessions per term) will be held with the above mentioned group of students with one (1) session for parents.
I. Prevention Education Series: a six (6) session series of interactive education program consisting of nine intensive 60 minutes session for each selected class of students with a technical content appropriate for their ages. The education series will focus on areas such as drugs and medicines, resistance skill training (amongst peers, at home, at school and at play), effective study skills, financial intelligence, dealing with boredom and idleness. The series will help participants anticipate possible lures to drug use and help proffer effective ways to deal with them through interactive sessions, role plays and rehearsals.
II. Positive Parenting: Sessions for parents of students to improve their knowledge on drug use prevention with the aim of imbibing the tenets of drug use prevention in their homes. This session will be delivered during Parent Teachers Association (PTA) meetings.
III. Referral: Students found to already be suffering from drug use disorders (DUDs) will be referred