Project Title: Enhancing the capacity of Civil Society to prevent drug abuse among the youth

Detailed Narrative Description of Project:

Young people abuse drugs due to complex social and peer groups influence, frustration, depression, curiosity, sub-cultural and psychological environment that induce the youths to take drugs. The effects of substance use are felt on many levels: personal, friends, family and societal. Substance use disorders leads to the disintegration of family life. Normal activities of the family disrupt due to antisocial activities of the abuser. The drug addict youth drops out from school/college or university education. A family of the substance users became isolated from the community the substance users swallows the lion shares of family income because of buying substance. A study among 120 students of National Ideal School in Dhaka city in Bangladesh and suggests that the secondary school students have poor knowledge about the effect of drug abuse.

Another study among the female residential students Dhaka university revealed 17% as substance user where also revealed that the substance abuse is significantly associated with disturbed family peace, lack of attention of the parents and a wide array of frustration regarding study and future.  The other study revealed that the students mainly took substance to have fun.

This is also noted that different newspaper in Bangladesh reported Cox’s Bazar districts as red alert zone for drug business, crime and abuse where mostly all level of people (male and female adults and youth and early adolescents, etc.) are getting involved, similarly the action of law enforce agencies has been revealing the same. Beside this, the largest refugee camp in the world for Forcefully Displaced Myanmer Nationals (FDMNs) is situated at Cox’s Bazar. Crimes and uses of substance inside the camps are increasing everyday which has an adverse effect on the host community as well.

According to the Department of Narcotics Control, children aged 8 to 10 are taking cannabis, cigarettes and glue sniffing while children aged between 12 and 18 were using phensedyl – compound found in commonly used cough syrups and heroin and Yaba pills (Amphetamine type of drug) are also quite popular among children of middle class or higher-middle class backgrounds.

We know that young people are usually much more effective than adults in communicating prevention messages to other young people because they share similar experiences, use similar language, and their interactions are often more authentic than those of adults. Young people have ideas and solutions to propose and if they are given the chance to be heard and to work, their contribution can be extremely significant. Based on the experiences of other school-based program implemented by DAM, it is envisioned that the youth will have commendable grip on advocating against substance use.

Name of Client/Donor:  United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)

Assignment Location: Cox’s Bazar (Ukhiya), Bangladesh

Duration: 1 May, 2023 to 30 April, 2024.

Budget:  16,997 USD