DARTS Prevention Program
Drug abuse is a growing problem of the modern world, with numbers exceeding 300 million worldwide, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). The D.A.R.T.S (Drugs, Alcohol, Relationship, Time Management & Smoking) program is a community development program designed to increase the awareness and educate university students about the harmful effects of Drugs, Alcohol, Relationship issues using a peer-mentoring system.
From a total of 5 modules, the first module was run in University Malaya from 23rd to 25th April 2018 and comprised of 20 SSIO members and 20 non SSIO members. The module focused on Drugs, and mainly the usage of exam pills just before the students began their first term examinations.
The Module consisted of 4 activities which met the following objectives:
1. To sensitise students to sufficient information so that they become aware of the existence of examination pills and its short term and long term dangers to health.
2. To share the ‘5 I’ of reasons as to why students resort to exam pills, namely Insecurity, Inquisitiveness, Incapability to cope with stress, Inadequate exam preparation, and Influence.
3. To empower students with the right thinking skills to prevent from indulging in drugs and exam pills by embedding the BEST principle when making a decision – Is it Beneficial, Endorsed, Sustainable and Transformative?
Over the 3 days, approximately 925 students participated in the program:
Day 1 (23/4/18): College 2, 5, 6, and 7
• Number of volunteers: 37
• Number of students: 360
Day 2 (24/4/18): College 8, 9, 10, and 12
• Number of volunteers: 25
• Number of students: 215
Day 3 (25/4/18): College 1, 3 and 4
• Number of volunteers: 22
• Number of students: 350
Overall, Module 1 of the DARTS prevention program was a huge success, with the participants feeling more educated and empowered about the existence and effects of exam pills. The participants also showed enthusiasm to become future DARTS warriors and run modules in other colleges / high schools.