Art against Drugs
The recent trends in drug use among the American youths have indicated the need for the fight against drugs to be advanced. There are many organizations, both government run and non- governmental organizations that have been mandated to cater for the needs of drug users. Law enforcement authorities have also been tasked to fight drugs through identification of drug trafficking syndicates and taking punitive measures against those proven to have engaged in drug trafficking. Despite these efforts, the menace of drug abuse among the youths still persists. In the present days, the trends have shifted from use among African American youths to be inclusive of all youths. With increasing rates of drug trade, every youth in the country, including all students within this campus are vulnerable to drug use. Engagement in risky behaviors has become the norm and the youths no longer consider drug abuse as a worrying trend. Peer pressure also plays a very crucial role in directing youths towards drug use. The chart below gives a detailed description of the trends in drug use as at 2013.
Figure 1: Illicit drug use in 2013 (NIDA par. 6)
Having noted the fact that drug use has become a persistent pain in the society, an idea to use art as a way of diverting the attention of youths from drugs is presented. The project dubbed ‘Art against Drugs,’ entails recognition of talent among drug users and encouraging them to engage in activities that build their talents. Furthermore, the project will also involve campaigns against drugs conducted by the individuals who have been helped to get out of the trend of drug use. These individuals will be best positioned to address their fellow youths on the impacts of drugs to their health and social functioning. The use of art in this context will be done as part of a more stringent regime of cognitive behavioral therapy. The project will be rolled out in phases depending on the progress of different groups of individuals. It is believed that through this project, it will be possible to access more youths and subsequently to help them overcome drug related challenges. While the project focuses on changing the perceptions of the drug users, even non- users will be expected to join the mobilization groups. They must however be among those who have previously used drugs and recovered through interventions from other groups besides the project group itself. The key objective of the project is therefore:
- To help as many people as possible get out of drug use through the use of art and cognitive therapy
While conducting the project, the drug users will be encouraged to use art forms such as drawing, painting, sculpting, bead work and poetry among others to divert their attention from drugs.
The project is planned to begin by signing on volunteers for the ground work. The volunteers can be drug users or non- users. However, they must be willing to take part in the activities that relate to the project for the entire project timeline. The project is also of an unspecified duration since it will be on- going through the years. In the first two months of the project, the volunteers will be engaged in approaching and signing up of at least ten volunteer drug users. The signed users will be given information regarding the intention of the project, the methods that the project uses and the expected project outcomes. They will also be informed of the need for them to be willing to participate in the project fully and whole heartedly. This is expected to take the first two months of the project.
After signing up volunteers to be assisted, the volunteers will be trained to practice restraint through disengagement. The drug users will be requested to choose from a list of art forms. They will then be provided with materials necessary for practicing their art and the necessary training on the same. With constant monitoring, the participants will be required to engage in the productive art form every time they feel the urge to use their drugs. Monitoring will be achieved by having the participants in one place, preferably a rehabilitation center where gaining access to these drugs will be challenging. This stage is expected to last for about three months.
The following table describes the key expenditures that will be incurred in the course of the project for the first six months. The art work produced by the first group of volunteers will then be sold to cater for the needs of the coming groups as the first groups leaves the program to be independent through art.
|Posters||Advertisement of the project||$250|
|Paints||Art painting||$ 600|
|Sculpting tools||Sculpting||$ 1500|
|Beads||Bead work||$ 1000|
The fight against drugs is one of the most embattled discussions in present times. Despite the efforts of many organizations, drugs have remained a resilient part of the society. The project thus proposes an alternative method of drug fight which uses art as a form of diversion from negative habits of drug abuse. It is believed that through the project, many youths who have been willing yet incapable of resisting drug use will be helped.
NIDA. ‘Nationwide Trends.’ National Institute for Drug Abuse, June 2015. Accessed on 13 February 2017 from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/nationwide-trends