|Activities in ECAD Member Cities|
The Municipality of the region of Trakai has since years a well structured program concerning drug addiction control and prevention, operated by a commission who coordinates activities as well as the implementation of the strategic policies. Since the year 2001 two drug addiction programs have been implemented. This has resulted in better organized health development activities in a variety of aspects. Parental programs as well as creating of self-help groups is important ingredients in Trakai’s activities. At the moment a new drug addiction and prevention program is being prepared, based on the analyze of previous experiences and the current situation in the region.
In 2010, the City of Klaipeda became the first city in Lithuania in WHO, in the Healthy Cities network. Due to this, Klaipeda has committed itself to provide conditions, and constantly induce its citizens to pursue healthy lifestyles. On a regular basis Klaipeda holds various actions to commemorate WHO days, different events, competitions, campaigns to propagate and publicize social health as well as organize and support prevention projects prepared by NGO’s, schools and other institutions.
Drug Abuse Prevention Related Activities in Tallinn:
The European HIV conference 2011 will be held in Tallinn
The European HIV Conference, focusing on the challenges and accomplishments regarding HIV prevention and treatment in Eastern European countries will be held in Tallinn from 25 to 27 May 2011. The international conference will convene over 500 health care professionals from 53 countries in Tallinn.
The ‘HIV in European Region – Unity and Diversity’ Conference is organised by the Estonian National Institute for Health Development in cooperation with World Health Organisation (WHO), United Nations Offices on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and other international organisations. The principal sponsor for the Conference is the European Union Executive Agency for Health and Consumers.
The Conference will create opportunities for the professionals in the field to exchange practices and knowledge and therefore facilitate the partnership between various parties and institutions. The Conference places an emphasis on persons injecting drugs, who are the major risk group in spreading of HIV infection in the Eastern Europe. Both the preventive measures and health services aimed for that target group will be discussed. Additional discussion topics of significance will be HIV testing and ensuring a systematic availability of health care services to the persons already infected. One of the expected outcomes of the Conference will be the development of recommendations to the European Commission, European governments, international organisations and other initiatives on how to improve collaboration between the countries.
In 2011, Tallinn is implementing an European Social Fund sponsored project ‘Support services for the vocational rehabilitation of the persons with addictive disorders and their close ones’
The objective of the project is to achieve a situation where the persons with addictive disorders and their close ones will not leave the labour market, including they will not become discouraged to find employment due to the problems related to drug addiction.
The support services for the persons with addictive disorders and their close ones carried out within the project will be implemented through a third sector organisation specialised in providing support to the persons with addictive disorders and their close ones.
The size of the target group is 100 persons. 44 workshops for the persons with addictive disorders and 44 workshops for their close ones will be held within the framework of the project. In order to map the needs of the target group, a qualitative survey will be prepared in a joint effort with the service provider; the sample will consist of the persons with addictive disorders and their close ones.
ESF support enables the development of support services for the persons with addictive disorders and their close ones up to the year 2012 (included).
The City of Gothenburg is since long most active in the work against illicit drugs and its consequences. Gothenburg has a number of regular activities and work in a broad aspect with prevention, demand and supply reduction as well as law enforcement. In connection to the World Mayors Conference in Gothenburg 2009, a broschure Gothenburg against drugs was published, which gives a good picture of the massive work carried out by the city (download as PDF by clicking on the title).
Some highlights, especially worth to be mentioned, is the regular School Survey Project on drug habits, conducted every third year among pupils at 16 respectively 18 years of age. The latest survey was made in 2010.
This spring, Gothenburg will start a survey of the problematic use of drugs in the city. The purpose of this activity is to present as correct picture of the current situation as possible, which is necessary for accurate political decisions and other measures.
In 2010 a project was started in order to prevent the spread of HIV and the purpose is to reach people in the most vulnerable groups, for example injection drug users. Among the many activities involved in this project is education to all staff working with outpatient treatment connected to related issues and efforts to prevent infections.
Vila Real de St. António, Portugal
Drug addiction has been a growing social problem lately in Vila Real de St. António and one of the top priorities for the City Council is to support households with members suffering from drug addiction. This aid has been accomplished through the developments of several actions. Among these can be mentioned subsidies given to therapeutic communities in order to finance costs not covered by the Health Ministry in Portugal, so that an actual recovery and reintegration in society can happen.
The County of Gävleborg has been traditionally very active within the network of ECAD cities. The city of Gävle is a part of ECAD Youth in Europe project and is the initiator of educational courses for drug policy coordinators working with prevention programmes in Swedish municipalities.
The City of Niš, Serbia
Primary Prevention in regards to Addiction Diseases
The problem of addiction diseases is the problem on global level and the prevention of cigarettes, alcohol and drug abuse is one of the basic health objectives everywhere in the world. Our state prepared National Strategy document which together with the Action Plan envisaged basic elements and steps for fighting the drugs abuse.
The City of Niš did not wait for a national document to be prepared to actually do something. 15 years ago the City of Niš undertook first measures in relation to preventing the addiction diseases and set that as the primary goal in the functioning of local administration. The primary prevention in the City of Niš applies the most contemporary methods and techniques which treat human behavior. The programmes which are applied in the work with the children, youth and their parents respect certain principles which have to be core elements of any good quality programme for addiction diseases prevention.
- The basic principle is improvement of protective factors and the reduction of the risk factors.
- Besides information about the dangers and risks, prevention programmes include:
Learning skills how to resist social pressures.
Strengthening positive attitudes against drugs abuse.
Increasing social competencies (communication, peer relations, self-efficiency and assertiveness)
The imperative of any prevention programme is continuity – repeated intervention in order to achieve the prevention objectives.
Prevention programmes for adolescents are based on interactive methods such as peer discussion groups trying to avoid one-way channel of communication and information dissemination.
Prevention programme must refer to all forms drugs abuse including cigarettes and alcohol.
Prevention programmes include parents which should improve their positive attitudes and be open for possibilities of having family discussions about illegal and legal drugs setting the clear family rules related to drug abuse.
Prevention focused on family gives better results than the strategy focused only on parents or only on children.
Prevention programme compulsory part is to increase the public awareness in the community through intensive media campaign (video clips on TV, radio jingles, organisation of public events, public debates, round table, printing promotion material).
Prevention programmes should be adapted to age, development, mentality, contemporary trends and culture sensitivity.
Efficient prevention programmes are paying themselves out. Each dinar spent on good quality prevention programme saves 10 dinars for the community expenses for medical treatment.
At the end of 2008 the Group for Prevention of Addiction Diseases at Nis City Administration for Education, Culture and Sport carried out the research on how spread was the drug abuse and use of cigarettes and alcohol among the pupils at primary and secondary school. This is the second research of its kind. The first one was carried out in 2004. The survey sample covered 10% of the population. The sample gave date about the dispersion of drug abuse and about protective and risk factors.
The objective of this research is getting relevant information about the abuse of alcohol, cigarettes and drugs among the pupils of primary and secondary schools and tracking of the changes happening in this area. The obtained data would serve to adapt our prevention programmes and interventions to the real needs of the population. They can also serve as a kind of evaluation. We expect that the obtained data will help us to strengthen the protective to weaken the risk factors.
The sample covered 1015 pupils from primary schools and 1215 pupils from secondary schools. 55% were boys and 43,9% were girls.
44,6% know a lot about drugs, cigarettes and alcohol while 24,9% know everything. (The acquired knowledge or information come from TV shows, films, books, newspapers and magazines, then from parents, school, friends and for 14,5% from friends who are using drugs. The fact that should be emphasized is that 25,9% of final year secondary school students have friends who are reusing drugs.
51,3% boys and 69,7% girls never drink. 15,4% boys and 3,1% girls were drunk more than 10 times.
They usually try alcohol at the age of 14 although the current trends show that some try it at the age of 12.