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The media can play a role to prevent drug Abuse Among Youth

Updated: Jul 29, 2022

Substance abuse refers to the habitual use of illegal drugs or the misuse of legal

drugs. Hashish, opium, alcohol, tobacco, and psychiatric substances are common

drugs. However, heroin is the most widely used drug in the world.


Workshop in Radioliteracy offered by African Media to raise awareness of the dangers of substance abuse by young people. Picture: African Media

Substance misuse is very devastating for adolescents. World health organization “WHO”

defines young persons as those aged 10 to 24.

According to a national poll in the United States, 78% of adolescents consume

alcohol. 47 percent of respondents indicated regular alcohol consumption.

Approximately 1,700 deaths were related to drug usage in the United Kingdom

and Isle of Man in 2019, with more than 70 percent of victims being male.

In Kenya, substance misuse among college and university students is chronic.

Globally, substance addiction among adolescents is frequent and has negative

effects on adolescent growth and development. Males are more likely to abuse

drugs than females. In Kenya, 43 percent of male adolescents and 37 percent of

female adolescent’s smoke cigarettes; this finding is statistically significant.

Similarly, in certain Asian cultures, parents give greater supervision for their

daughters. Parental supervision could be one of the reasons why girls take

substances less frequently.


There are many factors in which influences one decision to consume drugs. The

main risk factor for adolescent drug usage is poverty. Substance misuse is

significantly more prevalent among adolescents from middle- and lower-income

socioeconomic backgrounds.


Poverty impacts a person's health and has significant physical and psychological implications. To cope with many stressors, such as unemployment, inadequate housing, lack of affordable day care, and social indifference, people living in poverty take substances.


To tackle this issue, media can play a significant role in social transformation.

Media must be included from the beginning to the completion of the effort to

reduce substance usage among adolescents. This campaign could incorporate

local media as partners.


The media can engage in marketing by demonstrating a positive impact on the prevention of drug abuse. Details of the complete initiative must be shared with the media, whose function is to disseminate messages about the children's education program to the entire community. To prevent juvenile substance abuse, they must broadcast talk programs, program-related

notifications, conferences, story creation, newspaper article coverage, and

advertisements.


Substance abuse is a significant threat to global public health, with

repercussions for young. Individual, social, and economic vulnerabilities are

associated with substance misuse risk factors.


Young substance abusers are susceptible to severe, and occasionally fatal, physical, and mental health issues. Additionally, family and community life are negatively damaged. The fight

against substance misuse cannot be effective without the participation of a variety

of community stakeholders and the availability of necessary resources. Project

Radio-Lit is an excellent example of a community-based program that mobilizes

individuals and communities to minimize drug abuse specially among young

migrants.


Listen to Negmeldin Arbab Podcast here


Article produced in the framework of the RadioLit project, managed by African Media Association and funded by the US Embassy Malta, through the JuliaTaft Refugee Fund.




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