YOUTH against Addiction and Abuse

Changing cultural values, increasing economic stress and dwindling supportive bonds are leading to addiction and abuse today. The neo-liberal and geo-political policies, accompanied by ever increasing migration have led to loosening of the traditional methods of social control rendering an individual vulnerable to the stresses and strains of modern life. It is reported that about 190 million people all over the world consume one drug or the other. Addiction causes immense human distress and the illegal production and distribution of life negating substances have spawned crime and violence worldwide. Today, there is no part of the world that is free from the curse of drug trafficking and drug addiction. Millions of drug addicts, all over the world, are leading miserable lives between life and death. India too is caught in this vicious circle of drug abuse, and the numbers of drug addicts are increasing day by day. What started off as casual use among a minuscule population of high-income group youth in the metro has permeated to all sections of society.

The Church of South India considers this phenomenon as a threat not only to the individuals but also to the society at large and has committed herself to sensitize the people in general and the youth in particular on the menace of drugs. To that effect, the Department of Pastoral Concerns has launched the YaAA (Youth against Addiction and Abuse) campaign on 7th October 2014 at the CSI LITE Auditorium, Chennai. While the Rt. Rev. Thomas K. Oommen, Deputy Moderator of CSI Inaugurated the campaign, Rt. Rev. Timothy Ravinder, Bishop in Coimbatore and Chairperson of Youth Department released the Campaign Poster that suggests “Chooses Life”, and Rev. K. James Cecil Victor, Director of Pastoral Concerns has administered the oath to scores of teens and youth present in the auditorium. Youth from CSI Wesley church Egmore has enacted a skit that depicts the enslaving nature of the addictions. After the launch, young and the old signed their pledge that they will be free from addictions and abuse and also that thy will become agents of transformation. The campaign aims at reaching the youth in the Church and Church run-Colleges to bring about awareness among the youth on the ill effects of Addictions and Abuse and also by networking with them to campaign in other colleges and communities through campaigns, advocacy, seminars and counselling.

Aims and Objectives of YaAA Campaign:

-           To understand the meaning of Addiction and Abuse contextually

-           To evaluate the present forms of addiction and abuse today

-           To help youth to Choose Life and live responsibly

-           To train youth to help and protect their friends.