The Ministry of Health, together with experts, has developed an educational film for teenagers about narcotic substances and their consequences. The film explains the nature of addictive substances and how to help say no to drugs.
The desire to be like one’s peers, to keep up, to be accepted, to escape from reality or to experiment with feelings are the reasons that often lead teenagers to try addictive substances, including drugs, during the formation of their identity. A study conducted in 2019 in the European school survey project on alcohol and other narcotic substances reports that compared to 2015, the proportion of 15-16-year-old students who have tried any of the drugs at least once has increased. 27% of Latvian students of the mentioned age group have this experience.
The educational film was created to promote critical thinking and problem solving of teenagers in various life situations familiar to teenagers and encourage them to make decisions beneficial to their health and safety. The educational film consists of two episodes. In the first episode of “Substances and addictions”, narcologist Inga Landsmane explains the adverse effects of the most popular drugs on health, mental state, behavior, mechanisms of addiction formation and the consequences of use. In the second episode, “How to Help Say No to Drugs,” psychotherapist Arthur Mixon analyzes the mechanism of addiction, what people look for in drugs, and offers advice on how to say no to drug use to a young person without being ridiculed and rejected. The film also provides information on where to seek help and support for addictions.
Although the primary target audience of the educational film is young people aged 13-18, it is also a support material for parents and educators working with teenagers. Discussion-promoting questions are included at the end of each episode. By discussing them, teenagers can model situations in which, based on the content of the film, they are offered to imagine themselves in an episode of the film, put themselves in different situations, thus promoting empathy and allowing a more detailed understanding of the motives of the characters involved in the film, predict the consequences of actions. It helps to reflect on one’s own behavior and attitude and, as the understanding deepens, promotes a change in attitude and behavior. On the other hand, methodological material is available to educators, which includes a description of the situation, an outline of the film’s content, and recommendations on how to work with the film.
Subtitles have been added to the film and a version of the film with sign language translation has also been developed. The film was made within the framework of the European Social Fund project “Complex health promotion and disease prevention measures” (identification no. 22.214.171.124/16/I/001) implemented by the Ministry of Health.
The material for the educational film is available here: https://ej.uz/kmyj