Drug and alcohol abuse continues to pose negative health and social challenges amongst the youth including students at higher education institutions. This often contributes negatively towards their judgement in making informed decisions.
The University of Johannesburg (UJ) and Positive Convention invite you to the second edition of Students and Youth Conference, to engage on promoting wise and good student behaviour on Friday, 13 until 14 July 2018, at Auckland Park Sophia Town Residence.
The conference will be organised on the theme “A call to action by tertiary institutions: Shining the light on Alcohol and Substance Abuse”. Alcohol and substance abuse has created, amongst others, challenges in the successful implementation of Sexual Reproductive and Human Rights services and other relevant intervention interventions to the student community.
Gauteng Social Development, HEAIDS, Department of Health and the Vaal University of Technology (VUT) are also the conference partners with UJ and Positive Convention.
The conference aims to create awareness and educate members of the student community about substance use/abuse and reflect on the national drug master plan (2013-2017) policy and strategies; strengthen networks of young people who will spearhead provincial advocacy initiatives; develop an action plan for students on mitigating the negative effects of alcohol and substance abuse and to urge commitment pledges from government and other partners to prioritise young people’s SRHR and put in place mechanisms for monitoring the pledges.
The Forum will bring together students and external young people from Gauteng City Region’s higher education institutions to share information, come up with practical solutions that will contribute in mitigating the impact of both alcohol and other substances in young people’s lives.
Risky behaviour associated with drug and alcohol abuse
Students often become victims of gender-based violence due to exposure to alcohol and substance abuse, thus leading to broader social and health implications for the student and the community as a whole.
The vulnerability of students to transactional sex been recorded many times. It is important to address the underlying factors but also provide the students with a platform to come up with solutions that work for them.
Suicide and road safety:
There has been an increasing number of student deaths on the road across the country. Alcohol and substance abuse including mental wellness play a significant role in this aspect.
Student life comes with a lot of experimentations. It is a known fact in the student communities that sex parties exist and often with alcohol and drugs involved. By providing appropriate information to the students regarding the dangers and risks of participating in activities like that will go a long way in providing safe zones for students.
Healthy living and diseases:
Alcohol and substance abuse has a negative impact on student health. Disease prevention and management should be prioritised. The conference will look at prevention and management of illnesses like Sexually Transmitted Infections including HIV, malnutrition, dehydration and others as important health issues in relation to alcohol and substance abuse. Creating awareness and developing practical interventions developed with students will contribute to raising more awareness about the risky behaviour that is associated with alcohol and substance abuse.
It is important that mental wellness is recognised as a necessary intervention for students. By shinning the light and addressing mental health issues that affect students the conference will be contributing to reducing student’s dependency on alcohol and other drugs as a way to cope with daily challenges students face.