Drug use is a serious social problem worldwide. Drug use negatively affects the social, economic, physical life and mental development of individuals. Cannabis is the most widely used and most traded drug among drugs. There is a misconception in society that marijuana is harmless compared to other drugs because it is herbal. However, the development of tolerance and addiction with its use threatens both the individual and the society.
Many scientific studies reveal that many social, economic and political measures should be taken to reduce cannabis use, which is seen as a transition to different drugs. According to these studies, it is seen that the majority of users start using cannabis during adolescence. For this reason, it is vital for the protection of young people to carry out informative studies on cannabis and its negative effects, especially in schools and other educational institutions, starting from adolescence.
We wanted to draw attention to this issue and raise awareness about the harms of drugs among young people with the Erasmus+ Youth Project “Preventing Drug Abuse in Youth”. For this purpose, we prepared this curriculum with the participation of academicians and youth workers who are experts in their fields, in cooperation with universities and non-governmental organizations in Turkey, Portugal, Poland and Norway.
Thanks to the training modules included in this curriculum, young people; they will have the chance to learn the facts about drugs, types of drugs, how drugs (especially cannabis) affect brain function, mental health and the body. At the same time, it will be ensured that young people gain awareness about the negative effects of cannabis use that may occur in the short and long term, with the content of the training centered on the youth. In addition to all these, the modules in this study include various skills such as reading comprehension and activities that support critical thinking. These activities aim to develop young people’s learning to learn skills on subjects such as peer influence, user stories, and risk factors.
Our module (dapy.org), which we developed with long-term research, is an easy-to-access and user-friendly online drug prevention and prevention training program for young people. This curriculum, which is also designed as a guide for teachers in high schools, aims to raise awareness about the negative effects of cannabis use. We hope that with this study, we will make a modest but important contribution to the reduction of drug use, which has serious harms to the individual, family and society.