NIMHANS Hosts Workshop on Substance Use Prevention

A series of workshops on “Preventing Substance Use Among Young People” kicked off at the NIMHANS Center for Well-Being (NCWB) on Saturday.

The workshop series is offered by NCWB’s Substance Abuse Free Existence (SAFE) services. This workshop targeted youth stakeholders, such as college teachers and administrators, counsellors, wellness volunteers, staff working with child protection agencies, and mental health professionals.

Speaking at the inauguration, NIMHANS Director Pratima Murthy emphasized that substance use issues among young people need to be addressed from a life skills perspective.

Vivek Benegal, professor of psychiatry and head of the Center for Addiction Medicine, stressed the importance of early recognition of problems in children, such as communication difficulties and impulsive behaviors, so that the necessary interventions can be provided. This way, the chances of experimenting with substances later in life are greatly reduced, he said.

Aravind Raj, Additional Professor of Psychiatric Social Work and Coordinator of the Wellness Volunteer Training Program, explained how participants could convey these messages and work to reduce substance use among young people in the community.

All participants received a link to access the Lives Fulfilled, Empowered (LiFE) module, a digital learning resource that takes a primary prevention and health promotion approach to help young people avoid substance use by adopting a healthy lifestyle.

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