MASERU- Anti Drug and Alcohol Abuse Lesotho (ADAAL) stands up to stop alcohol and drug abuse among youths as to ensure that they have a bright future without the effects of such substances.
ADAAL director Mphonyane Mofokeng said with their programme called HIV prevention and Anti-drug Abuse, they will ensure that youth, not only those in schools, but all youth around the country, get better chances to plan their future without being persuaded by alcohol and drug abuse.
She said they have since realized that alcohol is still a challenge for the youth and that it is associated with high-risk sexual behaviours, which is a major mode of HIV transmission. He added that people who abuse alcohol were more likely to engage in behaviours that place them at risk for contracting HIV and Aids.
“A person under the influence of certain drugs or alcohol is more likely to engage in risky behaviors such as having unsafe sex with an infected partner. Indeed, the most common (but not only) way of contracting HIV is through unsafe sex, and as we can see, we still have high HIV prevalence in youth,” she said.
She continued to say that the organization will be engaging the youth around the country during school holidays and weekends on issues of life skills so as to help them learn and make the right decisions in their lives.
Mofokeng also said alcohol and drug abuse can lead to long-term social and health problems such as injury or even death of young juveniles. She also said growth and development can be affected by tobacco, alcohol and drugs that people normally encounter while in their teens.
According to her, teens who abuse these substances have trouble finding their identity or building relationship skills, and become emotionally unstable and may also have trouble preparing for their future.
She added that working with the community leaders and other stakeholders including Blue Cross and other organizations can help.
“With this unique program, we will assist youth in building the skills and values that will give them a foundation for success in the workplace and in life, and help them to be equipped with the latest tools and faculties for life,” she said.
Other than this program, Mofokeng said as ADAAL, they still have other programs which include the one for Advocacy for Alcohol Policy, where they engage community and ensure that their views are included, and that they also have Employee Assistance Program where they ensure that there is no alcohol and drug use in work and that employees are free from drug abuse so they can be productive to develop the economy of this country.