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OPAD is a member of the Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs. OPAD’s main objective is to raise awareness about the negative impacts of drug abuse and addiction on young people, make the public aware of the risks associated with different substances, and influence policymakers and the medical community positively so that legislation can be enacted to assist addicts and their families, as well as improve their medical care.

The following steps are taken by OPAD to prevent drug abuse:

1. Awareness programs: OPAD educates the public about the dangers of drug abuse and how it adversely affects one’s personal, professional, and social well-being. Identify the negative consequences of drug addiction, such as its impact on mental and physical health, relationships, employment, education, and criminal behavior.

2. Counselling services: OPAD provides counseling services to those at risk of substance abuse, including those who have a history of addiction, mental health issues, or trauma. Help them overcome their addiction and improve their overall well-being by seeking professional help.

3. Community engagement: A major focus of OPAD’s campaign is involving local communities in drug abuse prevention through workshops, seminars, and training programs. Encourage businesses, schools, religious institutions, and other organizations to promote drug-free lifestyles and participate in outreach.

4. Support groups: OPADs establish support groups for individuals struggling with drug addiction and their families. These groups provide peer support, guidance, and encouragement to help people overcome their addictions and regain control of their lives.

Collectively, we can prevent drug abuse and create a safer, healthier, and drug-free society by implementing these measures.

Excessive alcohol consumption: short- and long-term effects?

1. Impaired judgment and coordination

2. Slurred speech
3. Memory loss or blackouts
4. Nausea and vomiting
5. Headaches and hangovers
6. Dehydration

Long-term effects of excessive alcohol consumption include:

1. Liver damage and cirrhosis
2. Increased risk of cancer (such as liver, breast, and colon)
3. High blood pressure and heart disease
4. Addiction and alcoholism
5. Depression and anxiety disorders
6. Brain damage and cognitive impairment.

OPAD provides data about alcohol and other drugs for your own decision-making. Here are ten facts about alcohol:

1. Driving under the influence of alcohol increases death risk by seven times. U.S.A and European alcohol consumption contributed to nearly 28% of teenage motor vehicle deaths in 2019.

2. Annually, three million deaths are caused by alcohol consumption. Every minute, six people die.

3. Alcohol abuse kills more people than tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, driving injuries, or violence.

4. The likelihood of developing alcohol dependence is four times higher in young people who start drinking before the age of 15 than in young people who begin drinking after that age.

5. Approximately 35% of people over the age of 12 who abuse alcohol also abuse illegal drugs at some point in their lives.

6. Among 15- to 24-year-olds, alcohol is estimated to kill more youth than all other drugs combined, making up the top three causes of death among 15- to 24-year-olds: motor vehicle accidents, murders, and suicides.

7. It is believed that if you consume alcohol continuously for a long time, you will develop high blood pressure, damage to the brain, liver failure, sexual problems, and certain types of cancer in your body.

8. As a result of the use of alcohol, 13.5% of all deaths among young adults between the ages of 20 and 29 are caused by alcohol.

9. As a result of alcohol abuse, many talented artists have lost their lives due to alcohol-related causes, such as liver failure, suffocation, and heart attacks.

10. There has been a long history of alcohol causing harm to people throughout history. As far back as Greek literature was concerned, there were already many warnings against excessive drinking.

Combating the problem of drug abuse in an innovative way

One innovative approach that has shown promise in fighting drug abuse is the implementation of a harm reduction strategy. Harm reduction strategies aim to minimize the negative effects of drug use instead of simply trying to eliminate it altogether.

This approach includes measures such as providing clean needles to intravenous drug users, offering medication-assisted treatment, distributing overdose-reversing drugs like Narcan, and providing education and resources on safe drug use practices.

By using a harm reduction approach, people with substance abuse disorders are given the tools and support they need to reduce their risk of overdose, HIV, and other infections while also being provided with resources and information on how to access treatment.

Overall, harm reduction aims to reduce harm rather than eliminate drug use entirely, making it an effective and compassionate approach for addressing drug abuse.

Here are the top five ways to prevent substance abuse:

1. Understand how substance abuse develops. Substance abuse starts by:

  • Using addictive drugs (illicit or prescribed) for recreational purposes
  • Seeking out intoxication every time you use
  • Abusing prescription medication

2. Avoid Temptation and Peer Pressure. Develop healthy friendships and relationships by avoiding friends or family members who pressure you to use substances. It’s often said “we become most like those we surround ourselves by,” meaning if you surround yourself with people who abuse drugs and alcohol you are more likely to as well. Peer pressure is a major part of life for teens and adults. If you are looking to stay drug free develop a good way to just say no, prepare a good excuse or plan ahead of time to keep from giving into peer pressure.

3. Seek help for mental illness. Mental illness and substance abuse often go hand in hand. If you are dealing with a mental illness such as anxiety, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder you should seek professional help from a licensed therapist or counselor. A professional will provide you with healthy coping skills to alleviate your symptoms without turning to drugs and alcohol.

4. Examine the risk factors. Look at your family history of mental illness and addiction, several studies have shown that this disease tends to run in the family, but can be prevented. The more you are aware of your biological, environmental and physical risk factors the more likely you are to overcome them.

5. Keep a well-balanced life. People often turn to drugs and alcohol when something in their life is missing or not working. Practicing stress management skills can help you overcome these life stressors and will help you live a balanced and healthy life.

Develop goals and dreams for your future. These will help you focus on what you want and help you realize that drugs and alcohol will simply get in the way and hinder you from achieving your goals.

Share these tips for avoiding and preventing substance abuse with your friends and family and help promote a healthier lifestyle free from addiction.


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