How to Prevent Substance Abuse and HIV/AIDS among Urban Minority Youth

Substance abuse and HIV/AIDs are major problems that the urban minority youth have to face daily. Substance abuse among the urban minority youths has been linked to many societal ills including theft and robbery, the urban youth minority that are involved in substance abuse face some of the toughest life choices especially after becoming dependent on the drugs of abuse . once they have got dependent on the drugs of abuse they will find it hard to supplement most of their daily needs as in most cases drug addicts are avoided by employers, once jobless and the heightening cravings for the substances of abuse they will turn to some other ways of finding their daily supply of the drugs that they use. Turning to robbery has become one of the immediate choices that they bump into and hence they become a problem that the whole society suffers from. In most cases the youths may be felled by police bullets while escaping from crime scenes and some who are lucky will be sent to rehabilitation centers and that in itself affects the economy of a country as the country will spend more on these centers sometimes having to forego other expenses just to cater for the youths.

The biggest problem with the urban minority youths is their environment. Most of the people they interact with especially through the media lead lives of drug abuse, most of these youths are driven by their love for certain genres, they therefore idolize such artists so much that they will want to lead a life like theirs, this is a great problem having drug users as role models therefore there is need for educating the youths to stay away from drug use through the use of messages that may be sent through broadcast media such as radio and television. The urban minority youths needs to access relevant information that may help them stay away from drug abuse.

HIV and Youth Statistics

The urban minority youths are also involved in active sex. In most cases these youths do not get serious with their relationships, these relationships are sex based and having one night stands with different women is something that these youths take pride of. It is the involvement of these youths with multiple sexual partners that put them at high risk of contacting HIV/AIDS.  The urban minority youths need access to drug abuse and HIV/AIDS preventing messages in their immediate environment. Painting walls and having these messages artistically inscribed on the walls can be a good way to market this ideology and help the youths know of the dangers of drug abuse and involving oneself in risky sexual behaviors such us having multiple sexual partners. Other ways that can help these youths to stay away from drug abuse and HIV/AIDS may include:

Evidence-based prevention protocols

In a research study done to assess whether evidence-based prevention protocols could positively influence substance abuse and HIV/AIDS knowledge and reduce sexual risk-taking behaviors among urban minority youth by the by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP) dubbed Be Proud! Be Responsible! CASASTART; Focus on Youth; and Street Smart. This research study that involved sessions comprised of six, 50-minute modules that incorporated role-plays, discussions, and multimedia formats to actively educate and engage youth in prevention activities.

This study used the National Minority Substance Abuse / HIV Prevention Initiative Cohort 7 Youth Questionnaire. The National Minority Substance Abuse / HIV Prevention Initiative Cohort 7 Youth Questionnaire was developed by CSAP as part of a national cross site evaluation of all Minority AIDS Initiative (MAI) funded programs throughout the United States. Sexual risk behavior served as the outcome variable, with the following ten predictors being assessed for the study: disapproval / alcohol use, school importance, delinquency/crime, disapproval / tobacco use, disapproval / marijuana use, illicit drug use, stress- related alcohol and drug use, HIV/AIDS knowledge, HIV/AIDS testing, and negative peer attitudes.

The findings of the study showed changes in pre and posttest measures which revealed that participants who were at heightened risk were also more inclined to get tested for HIV/AIDS after receiving the intervention (95% confidence level). At posttest, an increase in HIV/AIDS knowledge seemed to have a buffering effect against risky sexual behaviors. Additionally, participants who thought of school more favorably were less likely to engage in sexual risk taking behaviors at posttest (95% confidence level). This study therefore showed the importance of educating the urban minority youths and creating awareness of the dangers of drug abuse and HIV/AIDS as paramount to fighting these two vices in the urban minority youths.  The intervention used the pretest-posttest design and worked with four urban high schools and five summer camp programs located in the Northeastern United States having a total of 653 African American and Hispanic/Latino youth, ranging in ages from 13 to 18.


Promoting Talent

The youths have talents that need to be exploited in a bid to find avenues though which the drug abuse and HIV/AIDS prevention messages can be spread. Apart from using their talents as a media through which this message reach many people it also keeps them occupied and gives them a reason to focus more in their own developments other than indulging in drug abuse and risky sexual behaviors.

Finally, Dr. Dalal Akoury (MD) of AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center is committed to availing help to addicts by availing some of the most integrative approaches to healing an addict chained to any behavior. Call on Dr. Dalal Akoury (MD) at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina for help.

How to Prevent Substance Abuse and HIV/AIDS among Urban Minority Youth