The fight against drug abuse in the world has lasted since time memorial. In Africa, Uganda in particular, it is one of the salient but thought least focused on by the probable stakeholders especially by both governments and Civil Society Organizations. The ‘Drug Abuse Prevention’ project is among the few sensitive initiatives carried out in the rural setting. The project will mainly put emphasis on the youths. It intends to sensitize youths on issues related with the effects, shortcomings of drug abuse, and ways of prevention. Additionally, the project also will provide hints on how to endure after ceasing to ensure comprehensive rehabilitation and sustainability.
Most drugs have been used as medicines historically. Drug abuse is a phenomenon that is increasingly becoming a big problem in Uganda. During 10,000BC, fermented alcohol was in existence and used majorly in religion and worship, for recreation, medicine and also to quench thirst for long distance travellers. Over 30% of the world population (1.3 billion people) use tobacco and 5% of the world population (about 230 million people) aged between 15 and 16 years use illegal drugs. It is estimated that 22 million people in Europe use marijuana. Over 70% of global population using opium and its derivatives are native of Africa and Asia.
Across the globe, drug abuse among students is a great concern in which illegal drugs and other chemicals are consumed beyond their appropriate measures. Drugs like opium, petrol, heroin, cocaine, cannabis, and khuber, among others have long been used by youths exacerbating psychological and physiological effects to them. Such effects have led to other outcomes like school dropout, engagement in illegal acts like theft, physical harassment, and deteriorated academic performance. Drug abuse has undermined the potential of many youths with its unprecedented effects. The problem has exacerbated related behavioural problems such as aggression, violence and eating disorders. The consumption of alcohol and tobacco acts as “gate way drugs” to the use of other substances like cocaine, heroine, inhalants and hallucinogens.
Like in other countries, Uganda has got aggressive and massive adverts for the alcohol and cigarettes products which has played a big role to glamourize the use of alcohol. There is a perception that alcohol consumption contributes to one’s success and bright futures as coupled with other contentious reasons. With big bill boards and repetitive adverts both in print and electronic forms on to which such products are advertised, it has been easy for majority to adopt the behavior given such arrays being fronted on a regular basis in the commonly used media. The association of such brands with some role models and big start e.g. Chameleon, it has been taken to be more of a fine-to-do thing due to the fact that one may consume in the guise of his or her role model or idol. In general, the background of alcohol and cigarette advertising in Uganda clearly targets young people regardless of their school status.