Prevention interventions can be classified into Universal, Selective, and Indicated interventions depending on the characteristics of the receiving end of the programmes. Universal interventions address wider populations without regard to individual risk factors, while selective interventions target populations that have been identified as being vulnerable or at-risk, and indicated interventions target those who may have already initiated substance use. While most school-based curricula and widely targeted prevention efforts are categorized as universal interventions, selective and indicated prevention interventions are also necessary and effective when conducted in their intended, appropriate settings.
This week’s Youth Action article features the outcomes of the 'Rise Again' project, implemented by a DAPC-supported non-governmental organization, UP Zambia, which sought to cover interventions that were selective and indicated in nature. The Rise Again project mainly targeted juveniles in conflict with the law at correctional facilities in Lusaka (Zambia), to prevent substance use among juveniles at risk and the development of substance use disorders among these juveniles. In the beginning of the project, UP Zambia reflected that incarcerated juveniles are at higher risk of mental disorders that may have negative lifetime consequences; and that the lack of knowledge of mental health issues, coupled with lack of skills to help them cope with their situation, may lead juveniles to turn to substance use whilst in detention and also upon release from prison.
The partner engaged with the targeted youth beneficiaries through various means of individual and group counseling sessions and also provided life skills training and career guidance in order to better position them at their outset of release. And, not only did the NGO support youths, but they also made an effort to improve and strengthen family ties of these young mates and their families through family therapy and family support groups. They created safe spaces for parents and guardians to discuss different issues and challenges that came with their family settings, and it also provided the opportunity to learn parenting skills. UP Zambia also worked to find sustainability in their efforts by conducting capacity building workshops for correctional officers with knowledge and information of drugs and drug use disorders, their influence on juvenile offending and how officers can help prevent the use of drugs in correctional facilities. These workshops received positive feedback on the usefulness of the information and trainings shared, and how it would help them in working and interacting with juveniles.
Many thanks to UP Zambia and their attention in addressing the continuum of care, so as to not only prevent drug use initiation, but also support rehabilitation back into society, and supporting youth in need of more selective interventions, so that they can become contributing members to their communities.
Thanks to the generous support of the Drug Abuse Prevention Center (Japan).