Marita prevention lectures last two school hours and aim to warn young people about a wide range of consequences and dangers related to the abuse of psychoactive substances. In the course of the lecture, we present an educational film and lead an interactive discussion on how young people can build up the right attitude in advance and say “no” to drugs when they are offered, i.e. choose to never try them. The group size is 1-4 school classes, depending on the available space and school schedule. Lectures have been adapted to the current situation in our country and to the narcotics that are currently on the Balkan market.
How we organize lectures in schools
Subjects we cover during our lectures
Presentation of the lecturer – brief presentation of the lecturers and introducing them to the pupils, presentation of the organization “Marita” and the donor who enabled the realization of the project;
The purpose of prevention and why prevention is important – the lecturer explains how important it is for pupils to make a decision that they will never even try drugs;
Experiences of addicts – examples of life stories of addicts from various angles, including the way they first tried drugs, the explanation of how their everyday life really looked like and the deep problems that this lifestyle brings with it;
Drug-related consequences – overview of the most frequent consequences of taking drugs (illnesses caused by drug abuse, loss of friends, devastating impact on family, wasted time, crime, poverty and premature death);
The division of drugs into “heavy” and “light” – a lecturer in interaction with students comes to the division of drugs into light and heavy, emphasizing that this division is misleading and that most addicts start with a “light” drug and ultimately end on “heavy” ones. It is discussed how the so-called light drugs are the most dangerous because they represent the most frequent entry into the world of drugs;
Comparing drugs on a scale – according to which of them causes stronger psychic/physical addiction – the lecturer in interaction with students explains the different degrees of dependence of the most represented drugs in the Balkans market;
Reasons (why?) – the lecturer explains the most frequent reasons why an individual might decide to start using drugs (crisis situations, feelings of non-fulfillment, boredom, peer pressure, environmental impact, economic status, etc.);
Risk groups (who?) – in interaction with students, the lecturer defines the characteristics of individuals who are more inclined to try drugs (low self-esteem, adrenaline addicts, etc.);
Educational film – „Marita 2“;
Questions and discussion – this time is an opportunity for pupils to ask additional questions to the lecturer and express their opinion.
The methodology of knowledge transference is based on up-to-date methodological principles and it implies:
Meaning making: – the activities are relevant to users’ needs, their assets are both acknowledged and employed, all activities are planned in a way that they can be adapted to actual participants, help them reflect and make conclusions.
Proactive approach and interactivity: – lectures are based on experiential learning. All theoretical inputs are discussed and conclusions are made jointly in order to achieve participants’ full understanding of the content. All activities are interactive and encourage pupils’ active involvement.
Positive and productive learning environment: – lecturers take special care that all participants feel physically and psychologically comfortable and safe to contribute, even to make mistakes and share their “weak” sides in order to learn.
Sustainable: – Lectures are time limited, however by close cooperation with school team, we ensure that their impacts is achieved and maintained.
Holistic: – We use approach to the learning process that, in addition to transferring knowledge and skills, also means sufficient space for changing attitudes, values and beliefs.
This approach allows an open and safe communication, active participation and interaction of pupils, and learning that respects their experiences and attitudes. This process raises their knowledge and awareness, but equally important, changes their attitudes and values, and this approach is particularly significant in approaching a sensitive topic such as drug abuse. To ensure this, staff is trained both in terms of the content and of the methodology of transferring knowledge.