Through the resources of the Human Resources Development Operational Program (EFOP), Békés County implemented comprehensive prevention programs to help prevent substance abuse, harm reduction, and coordinate the work of organizations and institutions dealing with young substance consumers. As a result of European Union support, during the project nearly 400 activities have taken place with 21 different program elements.
The MI-ÉRTÜNK Prevention and Support Association, recognizing the need to address individual and societal risks and damages associated with drug use, aimed to reduce illegal substance use from the beginning. Supported under the Széchenyi 2020 program, their project focused on preventing drug consumption and harm reduction, emphasizing broad prevention activities, a recovery-focused approach, and the strengthening of reintegration. The project also emphasized the establishment and development of collaboration among organizations and institutions dealing with young substance users, as well as strengthening local cooperation with the involvement of the local Drug Coordination Forum, reducing parallel interventions, and enhancing community cohesion.
To achieve these goals, professionals developed complex programs focusing on information dissemination, various psychological behaviors, self-awareness, family involvement, and addressing young people and their environments. The primary target group consisted of individuals aged 14-18, who were at risk of substance use, and their families. However, special attention was paid to reaching out to disadvantaged groups as well.
Over the two-year project period, nearly 400 programs were implemented, involving various organizations, primarily family support and child welfare services, schools, and other institutions, as well as civil organizations. These programs were in any way related to young people and their environments affected by drug problems or addiction.
In Hungary, animal-assisted activities and therapies are gaining popularity. The mere interaction with certain animals helps alleviate tension, a factor that project professionals leveraged during implementation. Additionally, the development of self-awareness, communication skills, and conflict resolution were identified as key objectives.
Experts from MI-ÉRTÜNK formed self-help groups, organized three-day camps, and conducted a roadshow in Békés County to provide information and educate potential individuals about substances, various drugs and addictions, as well as available lifestyle and alternative therapies.
As a result of the 24-month project, a local action plan was developed, providing a solid foundation for planning further prevention and service organization tasks and offering information for achieving long-term effects. Moreover, the program supports monitoring from September 2021 to December 2024, ensuring continuous, sustainable provision and development of human and financial resources.
The program was implemented with European Union funding in the EFOP-1.8.7-16-2017-00019 project under the Human Resource Development Operational Programme.
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