Drug addiction is one of the deadly ills affecting our society. Just like other diseases, it disrupts the normal, healthy functioning of the organs with serious harmful consequences. The effect of drug addiction is very severe ranging from physical to psychological, social and medical problems. The psychological effects include wild mood swings, depression, anxiety, paranoia, violence, decrease in pleasure in everyday life, complication of mental illness, hallucinations, confusion, desire to indulge in risky behavior, etc. Some physical and medical effects include sexual irresponsibility leading to contracting of HIV/AIDS and other Sexually Transmitted diseases or Infections (STIs or STDs), hepatitis, heart rate irregularities, heart attack, respiratory problems such as lung cancer, emphysema and breathing problems, abdominal pain, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, kidney and liver damage, seizures, stroke, brain damage, changes in appetite, among others.
The most devastating aspect of drug/substance addiction is that even though the victims might be aware of the harms, they cannot resist the severe craving for the drug or substance with the belief that they cannot live without using the drug or substance. Unfortunately, drug addicts don’t realize how badly they can harm the community around them. For instance, drug addiction is a factor for increase in crime rate, arms conflict & violence, laziness and so many other ills in the society. Recent research has shown that a good number of youth indulges in robbery, kidnapping, killing, terrorism, and other illicit and extreme acts and behavior under the influence of drug.
It is in the light of this that COFP introduced the YOLDA project (Youth Living Above Drug Addiction). YOLDA is a one year project that will enable addicts and substance abusers live above drug. The goal of this program is to encourage & empower Nigerian youths to live a better and healthier drug-free life style as well as contribute to the national and international response for drug-free societies, low crime rate, peace and development in the society.
Services provided through the YOLDA Project include:
- Identification and selection of 50 drug addicts in Abuja
- Advocacy meetings with the drug addicts families & visits
- Skills acquisition training and empowerment of 50 drug addicts
- Individual counseling & focus group discussions with the addicts
- Peacebuilding and interfaith prayer sessions
- Drug, HIV/AIDS,/STI tests & screening exercise
- Other basic medical examination associated with drugs
- Referrals & medical treatment
Monitoring and Evaluation
- Monthly Field/Site visits
- Distribution of questionnaires and feedbacks