The Month of August is Substance Abuse Awareness Month (SAAM). This year we have chosen the theme ‘Talk, Unite, Act, Against Drugs’. The theme urges everyone to be involved, to stand against abuse and use of illicit drugs/substances from an individual, communities, and the nation at large. The theme can further be elaborated in three aspects.
It is very important to start discussing substance related issues in all the platforms available, this is how knowledge and understanding can be disseminated throughout the country.
There are a lot of misconceptions regarding substances and their use in our society therefore talking about drugs can help educate as well as clearing the said false beliefs.
We find that there is a lot of stigma related to people who have problems with the use of substances and it is through talking about Drugs that we can break the shame and allow those who find themselves struggling with substance use to open up.
It is through engaging in dialogue that we can also spread prevention messages to encourage sober habits.
Substance use problems do not only affect the user but also affect the people around them, therefore, it is a problem that affects us all whether directly or indirectly.
From family members, friends, work colleagues, or other social circles; we all know someone who has a problem with the use of a substance.
We need to unite against drugs and not against a person who is using, that is to say, we should offer a conducive environment for one to seek help without feeling victimised.
It is only when we unite that we can be able to change the mindset of the society that associates having fun with the use of substances.
It is not enough to just talk and unite; we also need to act against drugs.
We need to be patrons who model a substance free lifestyle to the youth, making it desirable to stay away from substances that can harm them.
We need to actively reduce the supply and demand of drugs by policing our homes and communities.
It is also important to advocate for policies that will encourage prevention and support rehabilitation services as we envision our country to be a substance abuse free nation.
For more information on SAAM 2017 activities, please visit our facebook page (BOSASNet).
If you think that you might have a substance abuse problem, or if you have a friend or family member who does, we encourage you to seek help.
For some, it can mean the difference between life and death. You can find BOSASNet on Facebook, visit us on www.bosasnet.com, or call us on 3959119 or 72659891 for more information.