"Drug Smart" Peer Education Programme
‘Drug Smart’ teaches participants to physically identify illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia, and to recognise when legal and over the counter drugs are being abused. It also allows participants to identify warning signs and understand the process of addiction. The ‘Drug Smart’ method is based on a peer education approach, which trains individuals to educate their peers using the knowledge they have gained. Peer educators therefore create an atmosphere of ...
‘Drug Smart’ teaches participants to physically identify illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia, and to recognise when legal and over the counter drugs are being abused. It also allows participants to identify warning signs and understand the process of addiction. The ‘Drug Smart’ method is based on a peer education approach, which trains individuals to educate their peers using the knowledge they have gained. Peer educators therefore create an atmosphere of openness, honesty and willingness, and with these principles in place a learning environment conducive to individual change is created.
- Definitions, Types of Drugs and their Effects
- Difference Between Hallucinogens, Depressants, and Stimulants
- Warning Signs and Behavioural Changes to Watch For
- Identifying Factors and Signs of Abuse
- Specific Trends and Tendencies Related To Drug Use
- Withdrawal Symptoms
- Relapse and Recovery
- Constructive Confrontation and Helpful Support Structures
- Presentation and Facilitation Skills
- Skill in recognising different types of drugs and their effects
- Knowledge of signs that indicate drug use
- Awareness of symptoms that accompany withdrawal from drugs
- Understanding of relapse and recovery cycles and their indicators
- Awareness of conducive environments for effective confrontation
- Knowledge of trends in drug use and ways to identify them
At-risk populations and peer educators in a broad range of communities and environments in which drugs in any format can be obtained.
This programme is needs driven, with its duration and content fine-tuned for the specific environment in which it is offered. Depending on need, the programme is delivered over five consecutive days or in twenty contact hours spread over a longer time.
Monitoring and Evaluation
- Pre and post knowledge and behaviour test
- An assessment is conducted at the end of the programme to ensure participants are capable of raising awareness as peer educators and that the information they facilitate is correct. This includes a written examination (post test) to test knowledge and a practical examination where they facilitate an awareness session with a group of participants.
- When the programme is rolled out Khulisa monitors the number of participants reached against the expected reach indicated in the implementation plan, and conducts spot checks to ensure sessions are of top quality. The effectiveness of the peer educators and their interventions is reflected by a change in the drug consumption patterns in a specific environment, or by the implementation of drug-free prisons or institutions. The forming of support groups and an increase in individuals’ drug free time also indicate successful learning and implementation.
W.C., a participant, had abused drugs for years before being convicted of armed robbery and incarcerated in Leeukop prison. “Behind bars, I still managed to source my drug of choice but I noticed it making me feel worse and worse. Two years later I took advantage of an offer from Khulisa to participate on their ‘Drug Smart’ programme and was surprised to learn how everything I felt was also felt by others and that there was solid support from Khulisa to quit and reclaim my life. I managed to quit using shortly thereafter. Even better was that Khulisa channelled my leadership skills and passion to educate my peers about drug abuse. We created a drug free cell in the prison and the prestige of belonging to it is earned by passing random drug tests”, he explains.
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