1 in every 18 people aged 15–64 worldwide had used a drug in the past 12 months. This is 26% higher in 2022 than in 2010. Young people continue to use more drugs than adults and have higher levels of use than in past generations. Adolescence can be a critical risk period for substance use initiation. In addition to the immediate health risks, drug use among youngsters is often associated with increases in other risk behaviors, faster development of dependency, and lead to other problems in adulthood.
The project recognizes that drug addiction among young people can lead to social exclusion and marginalization due to its impact on relationships, academic performance, and employment prospects. It addresses this pressing issue in a holistic manner, by providing education, training, and support, ultimately leading to greater inclusion and societal participation, as well as enhancing the quality of youth work and fostering community engagement.
The STAR project emphasizes the importance of equipping youth workers with a comprehensive framework to effectively address addiction among young people. This framework, based on the latest research and best practices, is intended to enhance the quality of youth work, and improve outcomes for young individuals struggling with addiction.
The STAR project aims to create awareness, organize workshops, and engage with communities to encourage active involvement in activities related to addiction awareness and prevention, and thus establish a supportive culture that enables individuals and communities to address addiction more effectively.
The partnership wants to address this situation and prevent young people from being at risk of exclusion and experiencing irreparable health damage. Our project’s objectives align with the core areas of action outlined in the EU YOUTH STRATEGY 2019-2027: Connect, Engage, Empower:
- To CONNECT our partnership’s expertise.
The project will transfer in-depth knowledge on addictions through Participatory Trainings in the Czech Republic and Italy, as well as tools on emotional management and environmental aspects of drug production via an Online Workshop.
- To ENGAGE youth workers and youngsters in acquiring knowledge to identify, work and prevent addictions.
The project aims to develop and test a new Framework to identify, address, and prevent addictions and document it in an Interactive Book. Conducting a course in Spain will transfer and test the Framework and establishing the STAR community to provide a safe environment for collaboration.
- To EMPOWER youth communities for preventing and tackling addictions.
The project will empower youth communities to prevent and address addictions by motivating project participants to become ambassadors for the new Framework. Raising awareness to reduce the stigma associated with addiction will be achieved through various dissemination activities, including conferences in the Czech Republic, Spain, and Italy, internal workshops, and consultation sessions.
TRANSNATIONAL PROJECT MEETINGS (TPM):
- Kick-off Meeting in Spain -To launch the project, review task and budget distribution, set the timeline for main activities, etc.
- Intermediate Meeting in Italy – Review the QA of the activities implemented; the tasks to be done and in progress; Review dissemination campaign; etc.
- Final Meeting in the Czech Republic – To conduct final evaluation of the project; review impact; review sustainability plan; final report; future partnerships; etc.
- 3-day Participatory Training, Czech Republic – Petrklíč Help will transfer in depth knowledge in addictions.
- 3-day Participatory Training Italy – Oriel will transfer their best practices, tools, and knowledge in prevention mechanisms.
- Online Workshop: Permacultura Cantabria will transfer their best practices, tools and knowledge in emotional management and environmental issues of drug production.
IMPLEMENTATION OF THE STAR FRAMEWORK PHASE:
- Book creation – We will develop the STAR Framework and document it in an interactive book. Audio versions will be produced for people with visual impairments. Both resources will be available in English and the partners’ languages.
- Course in Spain: The Framework will be tested and transferred to youngsters and youth workers.
DISSEMINATION CAMPAIGN PHASE:
- Conferences: Each partner will hold a final dissemination event to present the new book and audiobook.
- Internal Workshops: Group C will share the new Framework with youth communities, parents, and staff.
- Consultation Sessions: Groups B and C will assist other stakeholders in implementing the new Framework within their entities.
- Further Dissemination Activities will be undertaken to reach a broad audience, such as public relations, development of dissemination materials, etc.
The activities are designed to achieve the following key learning results:
- Comprehensive understanding of addiction-related concepts.
- Knowledge of somatic risks associated with various drugs.
- Familiarity with the effects of different drugs.
- Understanding of the role of neurotransmitters in drug-related brain functions.
- Recognition of factors contributing to addiction.
- Mastery of addiction phases, cycle, and prevention.
- Proficiency in using the Drugs wheel and the 12-Step/Minnesota Model.
- Skill in creating effective dissemination campaigns using digital tools.
- Awareness of the environmental impact of drug use.
- Acquisition of prevention strategies for parents.
- Ability to facilitate positive dialogue among young addicts, youth workers, and parents.
- Proficiency in reintegration and prevention techniques.
The diverse impact will cater to the specific needs and roles of youngsters, youth workers, and the various partners involved in addressing addiction-related challenges.
YOUNGSTERS AND YOUTH WORKERS will have:
- been deeply aware of the negative consequences and risks due to addictions.
- become experts in the different types of addictions.
- been aware of how the brain gets permanently affected due to addictions.
- no longer feel empathy towards drug dealers.
YOUNGSTERS will have:
- been able to identify addictions in their friends or themselves.
- been able to control their prohibition impulses with Emotional Management tools.
- been capable of supporting their addict contacts.
- looked for support.
- been capable to have fun without addictions.
- increased the number of friends who are a good influence.
- been included in social activities.
YOUTH WORKERS will have:
- been able to identify youngsters with addictions.
- been able to help young addicts, considering and understanding the addicts’ world.
- implemented healthy activities in the STAR community.
- participated in new Erasmus+ projects.
PARTNERSHIP will have:
- supported youngsters with addictions.
- 2 prevented youngsters from addictions.
- provided capacities to parents for the prevention of addictions in their sons/daughters.
- provided new activities (prevention and support) within the STAR community.
PETRKLÍČ HELP will have:
- applied tools to work with parents.
- participated in new European projects with new partners.
PERMACULTURA CANTABRIA will have:
- applied the new knowledge in drugs and addictions to help youngsters
- a new line of action to support and work with young addicts
ORIEL will have:
- Implemented tools in Emotional Management for youngsters
- Coordinated a KA220-YOU project with the management capacities enhanced in this project.
OTHERS will have:
- Other youngsters and youth workers, who access the STAR interactive book, will have been empowered in preventing and facing addictions.
- Other organisations that apply the STAR Framework will be able to share an innovative source to their staff and learners.
- The STAR community will have more members to prevent addictions and support each other.
- Communities are aware that young addicts should not be excluded from society. They are aware that their inclusion will foster their addiction recovery.
- Communities are aware that is better to implement measures of prevention and treatment instead of punishing and excluding.