Session 7 Summary Report on Drug Abuse

  • Itsekiri NextGen Project: Report For 7th Session on Drug Abuse
  • Date: Saturday 04/12/2021 
  • Number of volunteers present: Five (5)
  • Number of Participants present: Seventy one (71)
  • Time: 9:00 am – 12:30 pm 
  • Venue: Former Caravan 4, Aji Pessu, Warri
  • Resource Person: Uwala Tedeye

Summary of the Session on Drug Abuse

The 7th session of the Itsekiri Nextgen project was held on the 4th of December 2021. This session was a preparatory session to the Itsekiri NextGen end of year get-together slated for 11th of December 2021. The session was focused on introducing the participants to the topics they would be presenting at the end of year event. 

Session Delivery

During the session, the topic on “Drug abuse; who is to blame” was introduced to the participants. This was to help begin to understand the issues surrounding drug abuse and how to deal with the challenge in our communities. The session focused on the responsibilities of; 

  • Society
  • Family members, or 
  • The individuals

The Role of the Society in Drug Abuse 

The participants were made to understand how society and in some cases, government’s policies can place pressure on individuals; either the pressure to succeed at all costs in order to have a good life, to meet up with society’s expectations, to conform to society’s norms, etc. The use of drugs can become a means to escape such pressures. 

Participants were also informed that society will not always support rehabilitation of persons that have become addicted to the use of hard drugs. In some cases, they are even stigmatised by society that makes it more emotionally and mentally challenging for persons to get off the use of hard drugs even while they want to. 

Participants were also introduced to some possible solutions from society. Availability of jobs by the government and other forms of empowerment can remedy this situation. School to school sensitisation as well as street to street sensitisation of the dangers of drug abuse can also help. 

The Role of the Family in Drug Abuse

The participants were introduced to the role of the Family in the life of an individual and in nation building.  

The participants were introduced to the concept of “the family” being the first unit of a society, and how they have a point of duty to give their children good upbringing. Family; especially parents; are the first role models for their kids. They are expected to be the first teacher for their wards on the dangers of drugs. This is a fundamental part of ensuring the participants have a good foundational upbringing, as well as being a proper guide for them on the types of friends they should keep. This will also help the participants to avoid becoming associated with drug addicts. 

Participants were informed of some ways parents can help in preventing their wards from getting into the use of drugs. 

Parents and family members who are already into drugs should stop so as to inspire their children in a positive way. 

Those parents who think they can’t stop taking drugs should try as much as possible to do it far from their children. This way, the habit of taking hard drugs will not be normalised for their children. A drug addict is perceived to be from an irresponsible home.

  • Discussion on who is to blame
    Uwala Tedeye, Project Coordinator addressing the participants

The Role of the Individual in Drug Abuse

The participants were introduced to the levels of personal responsibilities of every drug user. Every drug addict is believed to know the harmful consequences of using hard drugs, thus are to some extent, responsible for their actions. 

The participants were made to understand that every drug user always has a choice to make between taking or not taking drugs, but usually decided to do drugs. The first time might be a mistake but the second time is not but rather a choice and a decision. As they continue in it, they end up having no self control over consumption, and end up as addicts even if they do not want to.

Peer pressure was identified and introduced to the participants as the main reason why some individuals ended up deciding to use drugs. Hence the need to guide against such at all costs.

Second Phase of the Session

The second phase of the session was spent preparing the participants for their presentations on “Drug abuse; who is to blame; the Society, family/parents of the individuals?”. 

Here, the participants were divided into three groups. Each of this group will give a presentation on whether the society, family/parents or the individual is to blame for the menace of drug abuse. Each of the groups are headed by a volunteer. 

  • Group one is focused on drug abuse and society responsibility and is headed by Eworitsemogha Wyse
  • Group two is focused on drug abuse and family responsibility and is headed by Itse Mirabel ukubeyinje, and
  • Group three is focused on drug abuse and personal responsibility and is headed by Ulisanmi Pessu.
Drug Abuse

Itse Ukubeyinje, one of our Volunteers leading the discussions with her group

The outcome of the activity of participants 

In each of the groups, participants were made to choose two leaders who will be representing them to speak on the above mentioned topics at the end of year event. They discussed the issues in more detail within their groups and explored further solutions which were written down on cardboard paper but would be presented at the end of year event.

Additional Topic Explored during the Session

New vocabularies were introduced to them.

Key Lesson Learned

We all have our self will to resist drugs or to accept it. It is best for us to resist use of hard drugs in whatever form for our sanity and to be free from societal stigma.

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