Life Skills Development/Module One/Substance Use and Abuse

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Introduction and Rationale

This unit will provide you with information on various substances that can affect your behaviour, consciousness or your mood. Some are legal and others are illegal substances. They include not only street drugs such as heroin and marijuana, but tranquillizers, stimulants and such familiar drugs as alcohol, nicotine and caffeine. Some of these substances create problems e.g loss of school time, loss of work time, poor performance due to hangovers, arguments or accidents while intoxicated. Some can lead to serious health problems.

Understanding the effects of substances on your mind and body as well as its consequences on the family and community can help you make ethical choices and avoid high risk behaviour regarding legal and illegal drugs; and to understand and overcome dependencies.

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After completing this section, you should be able to:

  • Identify legal and illegal drugs and the effects when used and/or abused;
  • Develop skills to resist drug abuse;
  • Identify triggers to drug and alcoholic abuse ( i.e. feelings of isolation, loneliness, boredom, despair, poverty, neglect, peer pressure, social and cultural expectations);
  • Apply problem-solving strategies to find solutions to drug abuse; and to reinforce self-control over behaviour;
  • Cognitive coping skills and relaxation strategies including verbal and non-verbal assertive skills;
  • Acquire coping skills to deter behaviours and lifestyles associated with crime, drugs and violence;
  • Re-define self and positively reinforce self-perception before peers;
  • Demonstrate ways to use adverse experiences for personal growth and development;
  • Recognize risks to mental and emotional well-being;
  • Access appropriate sources of information, products, services and costs related to use and abuse of legal and illegal drugs.

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  • Drug: a substance (other than food) that when taken in the body, alters or modifies its action
  • Addiction:is a condition characterized by compulsive drug intake, craving and seeking, despite negative consequences associated with drug use.
  • Tolerance: it occurs when a subject's reaction to a drug (such as a painkiller, intoxicant, or antibacterial) decreases so that larger doses are required to achieve the same effect.
  • Physical dependence: refers to a state resulting from habitual use of a drug, where negative physical withdrawal symptoms result from abrupt discontinuation.
  • Chemical dependence:

Unit Content

This Unit covers three broad areas as listed below:

Substance Abuse

Effects of Drug Abuse on your Life

Is There a Cure for Drug Addiction?

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In this unit you learned to identify the legal and illegal drugs and the effects they have on the mind and the body. You have acquired the resources to handle situations when confronted with the use of illicit drugs. You have built awareness about the various types of drugs that can be harmful to the body and way to counteract the addictive nature that they may hold. You should have acquired the knowledge to differentiate the stereotypes and myths surrounding this sensitive matter. The commonly abused drugs can be classified as stimulants, depressants, hallucinogens and opiates. Household solvents may also be abused especially by young children.

The abuse of drugs can have very serious effects on yourself and your family. The consequences can be so devastating and cause the irreparable damage to your own social life and that of your family as a social unit.

There is no cure for drug addiction but the good news is, it is a treatable disease and drug addicts can recover. Recovery is possible if the person admits having a problem.Through treatment tailored to individual needs, people with drug addiction can adopt healthy lifestyles and lead productive lives. Families remain the cornerstone of societies in all cultures throughout the world to resist alcohol, tobacco and other drug abuse and to cope with problems where they occur.

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Checklists of Performance Task

1. Summary of Information researched

RUBRIC of performance criteria V. Well Done Well Done OK Not Ok- Will redo by ….
1. I wrote two statements on how use of alcohol impacts on the quality of users’ life
2. I wrote two statements on how use of cigarettes impact on the quality of users’ life
3. I wrote two statements on how use of cocaine impacts on the quality of users’ life

RUBRIC of performance criteria V. Well Done Well Done OK Not Ok- Will redo by ….
1. I designed one poster/brochure on appropriate life style choices

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