The sessions of the Substances Abuse and Research Center (SARC) second international conference was held this year under the title "Research Updates and innovation programs". The sessions lasted for two days and covered a number of topics as well as sessions and workshops.
The main topics of the first day sessions were: The basic elements of drug abuse prevention presented by the American doctor, Harold Perl, where he talked about the prevention life cycle and the role of risk and prevention factors in understanding the potential changes in drug abuse. He also pointed out the basic principles of drug and addiction prevention in a study that spent 3 decades of research.
The preventive intervention programs that can be applied by the family and school, were discussed by Dr. Kevin Haqarty from the University of Washington. Besides, he revealed a scientific study conducted in America for three decades that proved a significant reduction of drug use by applying preventive programs based on the family and the school. He also discussed issues relevant to the implementation and sustainability of these programs.
The second session focused on the parents` influence on the children`s use of drugs presented by Dr. William Krano (America), where he explained the factors that support the parents to protect their children from drug abuse, besides the parental behavior that can be transmitted through the media to enhance the protective role of parents.
The third and fourth sessions touched on several topics like the use of the personal contact intervention program based on the prevention of drugs and substances abuse approved practices: Jazan University as a model that was presented by Dr. Anwar Makeen, the dean of the JU Medical Research Center. He reviewed JU health awareness campaign on the bad effects of Qhat, steroids and smoking in schools and colleges in the framework of the Ministry of Education initiative for the universities’ social responsibility.
The campaign targets the secondary school and university students in Jazan region. The campaign educational materials are derived from the latest practices and theories of health awareness and behavior change. The campaign will embrace a number of studies to measure the expected impact of this preventive action.
The fifth and last session of the day dealt with the addiction prevention efforts in the Kingdom, besides the local experiences, including the Directorate General for combating drug efforts and SARC experience in preventing drug abuse. In addition to that, Qhat prevention efforts in the Jazan region for 12 years were also discussed.
The second day sessions resumed the left over topics of the first day as well as workshops and lectures. Dr. Saeed Alsareeha presented a study entitled "drugs and substances abuse portability among the students: prevention and treatment". It is a survey of intermediate schools’ students to measure the risk and protection levels that may increase their susceptibility to substance abuse, so as enable the concerned bodies to develop appropriate preventive plans and effective interventions to protect the students from the risk of substances abuse, stating that it is the first study of its kind.
This study revealed significant results, including: the proportion of students' drug use that amounted to 30.1% for males compared to 23.8% for female students with the average rate of 27.1% for both. The survey showed the substance abuse percentage in different regions, where Jazan region was on the top 29.3%, followed by the Northern Border region 29.1% and the third was Mecca area 28.7%.
The researcher Ahmed Hantol presented a study entitled "Some of the factors associated with the spread of substances abuse among Saudi youth: a strategic vision". The penultimate session was about drug prevention researches issues in Saudi Arabia, presented by: Abdelrashod, Khalf Aljuma`a and Abdulaziz Al Shamrani respectively. The concluding sessions reviewed the regional and local experiences in the field of drug prevention presented by: Einas Alimat from Jordan, Joseph Hawat from Lebanon, and Mohamed Alshoush from Saudi Arabia, while the fourth workshop was about "Creating Convincing Media for Drug Prevention" presented by Dr. Willem Krano from USA.