Prevention of drug addiction amongst children and youth
The World League "Mind Free of Drugs" has developed and gradually implemented a long-term project called"Prevention of drug addiction amongst children and youth".
1 Improve the efficiency of the preventive measures against teen drug abuse by raising the competence of teachers in secondary schools in matters of drug addiction;
2 Together with teachers, determine approaches to anti-drug education in schools in order to form psychological rejection of drugs in teenagers.
1 Conduct social research and analysis on the level of competence of teachers in secondary schools on the issue of teen drug addiction;
2 Give teachers systematic information about teen drug addiction and its risk factors based on personal, micro and macro, as well as biological characteristics;
3 To develop a children’s behavioral model and training that contributes to drug rejection, and the development of communication skills to confront drug addiction;
4 Give teachers a methodical tool to work with parents to identify signs of drug addiction in children and youth;
5 Together with teachers, pilot programs with teenagers to target anti-drug issues;
6 Give information about the ideological orientation of the goals and objectives of the World League "Mind Free of Drugs" and define joint strategies with teachers to further develop the educational, informational and other activities in the prevention of teen drug addiction.
At this point we have conducted a series of educational trainings for social workers, vice-principals, psychologists and leading school specialists.
THE FIRST STAGE
The first stage was to conduct social research on the level of awareness amongst school teachers in regard to drug addiction.
Social research was the preliminary stage where awareness-training sessions with teachers were conducted. The objective was to assess the degree of understanding and interest of teachers in the educational program developed by us. A survey of teachers was conducted in October 2003, in seven empirically selected secondary schools in Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan). 176 teachers participated. The completed application forms and reports on the participation of teachers of these schools are saved in the archives of the World League "Mind Free of Drugs". According to the survey results, it can be concluded that school teachers lack competence in regard to the questions of drug addiction, but they have high levels of interest in obtaining systematic information about teen drug addiction and its prevention.
THE SECOND STAGE
The second stage was the preparation and implementation of the educational program 1: “Addiction. Introduction to the Problem".
EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM 1: “ADDICTION. INTRODUCTION TO THE PROBLEM"
The second stage of the project "Prevention of Drug Addiction amongst Children and Youth" was implemented as a five-day educational cycle to improve the competence of teachers in secondary schools of Bishkek city in the field of drug abuse by children and youth. We adjusted the topics of lectures and training modules in accordance with the survey conducted. Program participants were teachers, vice-principals and psychologists from all schools across the city. The lessons were conducted from November 2003 to May 2004, with small groups of 10-12 people each, for better communication within the audience.
Upon completion of the educational program teachers and psychologists became members of the League. They received a testimonial and a certificate from the curator of the League. All participants completed a final questionnaire which allowed us to not only adjust the content of seminars, but also to understand the extent to which our educational program is timely and useful for these specialists responsible for the upbringing of children. The following are just short excerpts taken from some of the questionnaires:
I got more profoundly acquainted with the subject, which seemed to me familiar... But now I've seen a lot of new perspectives... A wonderful cause. But I think we should put more emphasis on the harm of drugs and alcohol. In general, for me as a doctor and as a human being, it was very interesting and very cool. This short time period gave me a lot. And after visiting the Rescue Mountain a feeling of great excitement, the rise of morale and physical strength and a sense of emotional outburst appeared. There are a lot of kind wishes, but I want to express one and the most important thing — may your League prosper and continue its work in the best public interests.
Kyshtobaeva A.Sh. - Chief of the Medical Service of the
Drug Control Agency of the Kyrgyz Republic
Complete, comprehensive information about the behavior of children under the influence of dope. Maybe not right away, but I'm sure that now I will recognize the risk group and identify children who use drugs. I already imagine working with parents to prevent teenage drug abuse. I became more realistic about life. An unusually excited child will make me more cautious and I will pay more attention to his behavior and changed habits... I want to be like you, work with you and also bring the same benefits. Turns out, I did very little before! As Confucius said, "Every time I throw a stone into the water, and hit the exact center of the circle". Let the circles of Tashtar-Ata stones be blessed.
Kydyrmysheva A.S. - Deputy Director
on educational work of the school № 74
Before the courses organized by the World League "Mind Free of Drugs", it seemed to me that I knew what drug and alcohol addiction were. The courses completely changed my opinion and my knowledge in this area. All I have heard and seen in these courses will help me to work with children and parents. One feels that the people who work here are very concerned and indifferent to this problem. I wish that you will be heard and supported on the state level.
Balikoeva M.A. - Teacher of ethics and rhetoric at school № 6
Now I have an idea of the signs by which one can determine that a person has a drug or alcohol addiction. I know about the dangers of alcohol and drugs. I know the preventive measures of teenage drug addiction. I wish the World League "Mind Free of Drugs" huge success in eradicating the evil in the world called "addiction".
Pilyugina A.V. - Primary school teacher at school № 41
Thanks to the organizers of the course I was able to see and hear something that I just never imagined. In a simple, comprehensible and professional way, we were told what, where and how this terrible evil happens, and about the irreversible effects that addiction leads to. And, of course, that pushes me to take action and to somehow turn the knowledge acquired in the courses into practice to explain to children about the dangers of drug addiction.
Konoreva L.A. - Teacher of ethics and rhetoric at school № 6
I work at the Center for Health Promotion and address the issues of prevention of drug abuse and smoking. It was extremely useful to gain systematic information about drugs and their effects on humans, groups and risk factors, as it is directly related to my work. The most important was the proactive approach to problem solving. Age characteristics of children were covered interestingly and clearly. I think that the course was chosen carefully and professionally and accurately meets the needs of the participants... The trip to the Rescue Mountain Tashtar-Ata was the most impressive. I enjoyed the sincerity and deep enthusiasm of lecturers and even minor sores under the influence of their spirit and faith, seemed gone.
Ilyazova A. - Health Promotion Specialist,
National Centre for Health
A lot of interesting information. Interesting excursions to the Medical Center of Dr. Nazaraliev and the Sacred Mountain of Salvation "Tashtar-Ata". These were unforgettable emotions. I will never forget this week, these courses and great speakers...
Lukashova I.S. - Psychology teacher at school № 48
I have received a great deal of information about the issues that matter to the world. I was struck by its importance... I deeply felt the misery and sorrow of people while visiting the MCN and the Mountain of Salvation "Tashtar-Ata". Many thanks to the organizers of the course, because I've gained unforgettable feelings and emotions such that I want to live and fight for our children.
Ageeva T.D. - Coordinator of Children's Movement at School № 83
Given the threat that impends over our world, as they say, we need to be "armed". And our main weapon is information. We need to know how to prevent this threat, and how to protect ourselves and our close ones. The course was very useful for my future work.
Sadykov S.I. - Geography teacher at school № 58
I am very happy that I passed this course. I've gained all necessary knowledge that I needed for my pedagogical practice and I want to thank you for the organizational work, for all the knowledge you gave us during this course, for everything you do for the sake of humanity under the slogan “Mind Free of Drugs”. Thank you so much.
Skakova E.G. - Teacher of biology at school №7
This course gave me vast knowledge about such a horrible ailment that I was unaware of. This course covered all aspects of this fatal disease and gave us instructions on how to warn our children from entering this scary world called drug addiction. Lecturers presented the information in an easy way, supporting it by practical and social research, vivid materials and excursions. It is very important for us teachers.
Voskoboinikova E.V. - Deputy Director
on educational work of the school № 82
The course contributed to a clearer understanding and awareness of the drug addiction problem. Knowledge about the consequences of addiction and methods of resistance, treatment etc. was improved. Trainings and discussions were the most useful. Impressions after visiting the Rescue Mountain Tashtar-Ata and legends connected to this holy place were beyond words. After the course, a strong desire appeared to pass the gained knowledge to others and conduct preventive work of youth addiction more effectively. You are doing great work by helping people. The world would be much kinder if there were more people like you.
Supataev J. - Drug prevention specialist at the
Drug Control Agency of the KR
THE THIRD STAGE
The third stage was to conduct an expanded city conference "Prevention of Teen Drug Addiction: what should be the drug prevention program in schools look like – teacher opinions".
CITY CONFERENCE "PREVENTION OF TEEN DRUG ADDICTION: WHAT SHOULD THE DRUG PREVENTION PROGRAM IN SCHOOLS LOOK LIKE – TEACHER OPINIONS"
The third step in the long-term project on the prevention of drug addiction amongst children and youth was to conduct an expanded city conference "Prevention of Teen Drug Addiction: what should the drug prevention program in schools look like – teacher opinions ", which we organized and conducted at the end of May 2004.
The conference program included 14 papers on drug prevention in schools amongst three age groups: 7-10 years, 11-14 years, 15-17 years. Each section had several co-authors who highlighted the problems in both spheres: in educational work and trainings on the development of resistance to drugs, with an age-based consideration.
Teachers and school psychologists, representatives of law enforcement agencies, social workers, and senior officials from government and non-governmental organizations involved in the fight against drugs and drug addiction, attended the conference.
One of the achievements of the event resulted in the organization of the initiative group of teachers and school psychologists in order to develop a program of educational work for the prevention of drug addiction of children and youth.
THE FOURTH STAGE
The fourth stage of the project is carried out in the form of educational program 2 “Addiction. Psychological Risk Factors Across Age Groups".
EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM II “ADDICTION. PSYCHOLOGICAL RISK FACTORS ACROSS AGE GROUPS"
The fourth stage of the project "Prevention of Drug Addiction amongst Children and Youth" was the implementation of a three-day series by the World League “Mind Free of Drugs” in the form of educational program II “Addiction. Psychological Risk Factors Across Age Groups".
The organizers aimed to illuminate the psychological risk factors of drug addiction in school groups, to give an idea of their etiology and features, as well as to provide the program participants with an opportunity to learn training skills to further teach children how to deal with the conflict from psychological losses.
Course program II “Addiction. Psychological Risk Factors Amongst Age Groups" was carried out in the form of three days of lectures and training sessions from February 2005. During this campaign we were able to cover about half of the city's schools.
At the end of the educational cycle, its participants became members of the League. They were awarded a certificate by the curator of the League. In the final questionnaires, which were filled out by the attendees we featured questions about the value of the course, the opinion of the teachers about content changes and a free space, where the attendee could express their wishes:
The problem is very relevant. In my opinion, the course is wonderful. I wish that the principals of schools could visit such seminars. They have a lot to learn. I am grateful to the course leaders for their interesting and competent teaching.
Sidorov L.V. - Psychologist at school № 58
During the course, I discovered a lot about child psychology. All this will help me in my work with students. During the lectures I often imagined myself in many situations, and realized that a child, even of the primary school age, is already a personality who has his own position and views. I have a new vision of how sometimes even a bad word that we do not give big value to could become very dangerous... It would’ve been nice to add more practical tasks to the course and increase the number of training days. I have enjoyed everything. I somehow immediately wanted to do something good.
Medvedev L.N. - A teacher of mathematics at school № 2
The course was useful to me because we closely faced the same problems mentioned in the lectures at work. It was very interesting to learn about the new ways of problem solving. I especially liked the training games, workshops, and the attitude of the coaches to participants. I wish there were more practical training courses and some outdoor events. Thank you, I’ve learned many interesting things and gained a lot for myself.
Kazakbaev T. - Deputy Director
on educational work of the school № 58
I learned a lot about the inner world of children, about conflict resolution, reasons for drug and alcohol addiction in children, and the possible ways of preventing all these. A trip to Tashtar-Ata and a meeting with former drug addicts should be added to the course. It is necessary that such courses are carried out longer.
Zhuravleva N.A.- Biology teacher at school № 9
All the topics of the seminar are very useful for working with teachers, parents and students. Personally, I would try to conduct trainings and lectures for all these groups, to inform each individual about the significance and originality of his self "ego". The course is very complete and well thought out. Many thanks to the organizers of the workshop. For the second year I attend programs organized by the World League "Mind Free of Drugs". These educational cycles are just a breath of fresh air for the teachers, especially in schools.
Toropkins E.I. - Deputy Director
on educational work of the school № 57
THE FIFTH STAGE
The fifth stage of the project was to train school psychologists to work as guides and supervisors of extracurricular activities on anti-drug addiction on the Mountain of Salvation Tashtar-Ata. To this end, a one-day training seminar was conducted with dedicated professionals of all city schools.
The fifth stage of the long-term project "Prevention of Drug Addiction Amongst Children and Youth" was the implementation of a special workshop on the preparation of guides and trainers for teachers of secondary schools in order to conduct the annual extra-curricular activities on the anti-drug addiction for school children on the Mountain of Salvation Tashtar-Ata.
Special social workers, psychologists and vice-principals on educational work were invited to the lessons. Amongst them were a group of managers and leading specialists from the municipal government and district education center.
At the request of the rectorate of the University named after Arabaev, a number of teachers and several groups of student activists from amongst the leaders of the youth movement were involved in the workshop.
The World League "Mind Free of Drugs" developed and provided guidelines on how to conduct these extracurricular activities with students and provided them with a thematic collection of key issues.
During the workshop, participants received comprehensive information on both the theme and the philosophy of Tashtar-Ata and the key points of the seminar with students on the Rescue Mountain.
The seminar was held in small groups of 10-12 people. From the beginning of October 2005 to April 2006 a total of 15 groups of attendees were organized. The workshop combined the training information part and discussions, therefore ensuring effective learning of the program material.
The question about common mistakes committed by teachers whilst working on anti drug addiction was raised. An analysis of schools showed that unfortunately teachers unintentionally raise a curiosity in children about drugs and their effects on the body. At the seminar the issue of common mistakes was covered in a close conjunction with the psychological characteristics of children of different ages, requiring great care and adequacy in presenting the material.
In the final questionnaire the participants were unanimous that the information was very useful, volumetric and in most cases new. The same unanimity was on the practicality of the extracurricular activities for students at Tashtar-Ata. Their opinions may be stated briefly in one sentence - such workshops are needed, required and, of course, they will leave a huge emotional print.
Excerpts were taken from the questionnaires of the final two empirically selected groups out of 15 seminar groups who were trained from October 2005 to April 2006. Besides the address data, the participants were asked to answer three main questions on the usefulness of the information received, on the feasibility of such extra-curricular activities on anti-drug addiction t Tashtar-Ata, and to express their wishes and impressions:
The seminar was very exciting. I found answers to my questions on how to work with children on drug addiction problems. This was my first visit to Tashtar-Ata. I've heard a lot about it. The lesson according to the League's methods, which was held in Tashtar-Ata, influences the inner space. It is a wonderful workshop for children who are a receptive audience. With this lesson you can really warn, protect, and most importantly, make it clear to the child that he can still change himself. Incredible sense of purification and some kind of good faith in the future.
I.U. Karamushkina - chief of the department of educational work of
the Department of Education at the city executive board in Bishkek
I have received more information on anti-drug addiction. Interesting trainings will help us to conduct thematic activities ourselves. After visiting the Rescue Mountain Tashtar-Ata I felt a great spiritual relief, i.e. not religious but psychological. In my opinion, such classes must be conducted for all school supervisors. Then the classes with students will be more effective.
J. Myrzataev - Leading Specialist of
Lenin education center
Many new and useful things I've learned in one great day. So many positive emotions! Information was presented effectively and concisely. I will surely use this practice in my work. On the question of expediency: only in Tashtar-Ata will the energy help children to get more aware of the problem of drug addiction. A lot of impressions and very unusual feeling. I got a feel of the history. I think that no child will be left indifferent after this session.
L.A. Sosnitskaya — Coordinator at the
Urban Creativity Center for schoolchildren
Not only information, but also trainings intended for students, will be very useful for teachers and participants. Serious proficiency. Extracurricular activities with departure to Tashtar-Ata undoubtedly are very necessary. Guys need to see that the addiction problem concerns many people in the world. I would like to be such a wonderful tour guide as a director of the League.
E.V. Popova - freelance specialist at
Sverdlovsk district center for education
I’ve learned a lot of useful information for myself, and I will use this knowledge in practice. I think that we need to conduct such sessions on an annual basis in each class at Tashtar-Ata. Our prepared guides, i.e. psychologists and Deputy Directors, can and should lead the work. It is better to see and feel once, rather than just to hear while sitting in a class. I enjoyed the visit to Tashtar-Ata and had a great communication pleasure. I wish you good health and boundless energy. I love you!
A.A. Karasartova - Chief Specialist at
Pervomaiskyi district center for education
We need to carry out such extra-curricular activities for students at Tashtar-Ata, so that they will not only theoretically but also practically experience everything, pass through their heart and deeply acknowledge the responsibility for their lives. Of course, the experience is amazing and it is impossible to pass the impact of what I felt in Tashtar-Ata. It was something that made me think of my past life, a philosophical thinking about human life like a grain of sand in this vast world, the relationship of time... Beyond words, and I'm grateful for that.
E.B. Samudinova – deputy principal of educational work at school № 54
I gained a lot and learned new information, which is not available in other places. The workshop is also useful because after it we become qualified guides and methodists. A deep and rich experience of the trainer, enthusiasm and optimism strikes a lot. You understand how to work. My impressions are beyond words. Moving forward I want to deliver this knowledge to students and teachers in practice. Collaborating with you for 3 years already and I hope to continue our cooperation. Thank you.
R.A Temiraliev – Committee Chairman on youth affairs, Kyrgyz State University named after I. Arabaev
The benefit of the workshop for me was great. I learned a lot of interesting and useful information, previously unknown to me: how drugs affect the endorphin system and how all drugs destroy the working system of our body. In this sense, the training is even more convincing. These kinds of lessons to school students are very necessary. This will increase their knowledge about the dangers of drugs and their harmful effects on the entire body. I think that after visiting Tashtar-Ata they will think of many things. I find it hard to describe my impressions with words, but I can say that they are indelible. Especially the visit to Tashtar-Ata. A real feeling that I got a feel of the past and eternity.
A.K. Raimahunov - student of KSU named after Arabaev
I learned a lot about how drugs badly affect the human body both physically and spiritually, and that there are people who think and care for others regardless of their faith, race, and social class. As I understood it, the lessons with students at Tashtar-Ata give us a chance to maximize the prevention of drug addiction. I think that for students, just as for me, lessons and visits to Tashtar-Ata would help to get rid of the mental burden, to look forward both confidently and optimistically.
A.J. Alagozov - student of KSU named after Arabaev
From the review of the Rector of the Kyrgyz State University named after Arabaev:
Teachers of the KSU and a group of students who participated in the workshop gained very important and professional information on the current problems. The participants had a unique opportunity to visit the holy place - Rescue Mountain Tashtar-Ata, to experience its real power and to get a feel of the Millennium. Students are future teachers. They will work with school students and youth on the prevention of drug abuse. Knowledge gained during this workshop will allow carrying out such activities in the right way, and to give information about the holy place, and the impact of this place on the human psyche. Reviews of the participants were enthusiastic. After the seminar students received valuable information. The result of is that the workshop achieved its goal - to form a group of competent guides and trainers in order to work with school students on the anti-drug addiction program.
In the future individual consultations are planned for psychologists, social workers and officials who are responsible for the educational work in schools in planning and carrying out the educational work of anti-drug addiction in school. The introduction of the project has produced positive results and significantly reduced the risk of drug addiction in children and teenagers of school age.