Communities Against Drug and Substance Abuse (CADASA Trust)

Communities Against Drug and Substance Abuse (CADASA Trust) is a youth serving national charitable organization involved in Drug and Substance Abuse programming. The organisation operates in the high and low density communities of Harare.

CADASA was founded in 2014 and started operations in 2015. Riding on a vision to see a Zimbabwe free from drug and substance abuse, CADASA helps to create a drug-free environment that enables children and youths to reach their full potential by providing access to information on drug and substance abuse (DSA) and influencing policy through advocacy.

Drug and Substance Abuse is currently one of the major social ills compounding our nation with over 65% of admissions at Psych Wards due to drug induced disorders. The research goes on to single out youths as the most affected group in the country as it confirmed that of the 65%, 80% of the patients are aged between 16 to 40 years and males being the most affected sex.

The organisation’s work is run within three major programmes, i.e. the Prevention and Awareness, Advocacy and Psycho-social support. Prevention and Awareness programme which aim to address the information gap that exists in the communities that it operates. The media is awash with horrific stories of death and violence due to drugs but little is known of the many steps that are taken before the tragic result is achieved. Less still is known of how this can be prevented. That is the vacuum CADASA is filling. The organisation strongly believes in the power of prevention, Catch Them Young, thus, #ShatteringTheMythsOnDrugs, sums up CADASA’s work

From January 2018, CADASA plans to engage business operators on the Not for Sale to Under 18 Law. Unrevised legislation and penalties that are laxed in the justice delivery system have contributed immensely to the current state of Drug Substance Abuse in Zimbabwe. It is the organisation’s hope that it is able to influence policy and legislation as it impacts on Drug Substance Abuse.

The organisation believes that its Prevention and Advocacy efforts would be incomplete without addressing the plight of those already addicted. CADASA has therefore established JUST SAY NO Support Groups in communities that it modelled after Alcoholics Anonymous International. CADASA has plans in the future to establish a Rehabilitation Centre that is bench-marked against international best practices.

This week running 23rd to the 28th of October 2017, CADASA brings to Zimbabwe the Red Ribbon Week, a week to remember those who passed on as a result of drug abuse. This year’stheme is, Your Future Is Key, Stay Drug Free”

The Red Ribbon campaign is a brain child of National Family Partnership organization from the USA, whose main focus is on drug prevention and promotion of the wellbeing of youth. The Red ribbon campaign was launched in 1985 in response to the murder of Drug Enforcement Agent Enrique Camarena whose work had been focused on fighting illegal drug abuse. Therefore, in honour of him, the NFP launched the Red Ribbon campaign as a catalyst to mobilize communities to educate youths and encourage participation in drug prevention activities.

CADASA will be launching the Red Ribbon campaign in partnership with the NFP. This will be the first of its kind in Zimbabwe and CADASA will hold various activities during the week from the 23rd to the 29 th of October. CADASA will officially launch the campaign in Mufakose on the 28th. The Red Ribbon week campaign is the symbol of CADASA’s commitment to raise awareness of the death and destruction caused by drugs in Zimbabwe.

CADASA will be holding several dialogues with parents who had to bury their children to drug abuse as well as young people who lost friends and family as a result. Guided by our Prevention and Awareness Officer Tawanda Mafuta, the Red Ribbon Week is set to be launched in Zimbabwe by the Hon Member of Parliament in Mufakose on Saturday the 28th of October 2017.

Through both electronic and print media the organisation will raise awareness of drug and substance abuse issues in the week so as to stimulate Drug and Alcohol Abuse conversation in communities. Young people need to learn the truth about drugs and alcohol and make informed decisions. The Red Ribbon campaign also complements the fight against HIV and AIDS in educating young people on the relationship between drug use and HIV/AIDS. The achievement of the 2030 Agenda on HIV and AIDS are achievable only if drug and substance abuse is incorporated into the strategies of fighting the pandemic and encouraging young people make smart decisions.

CADASA is quite proud of what it has accomplished so far. The organisation working with the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare and the City Health Department successfully launched the Drug and Alcohol Facts Week in Zimbabwe in January of 2015 and established the first Drug Resource Centre in Zimbabwe dubbed Just Say No Corner. It also established the first Drug Support Groups in marginalised communities dubbed the Just Say No Support Group. CADASA is also a Behaviour Change Implementer for the National Aids Council (NAC)

The organisation also holds memberships with the Southern African Alcohol Policy Association (SAAPA), National Association of Non-Governmental Association (NANGO), Zimbabwe Youth Council (ZYC) and the Zimbabwe National Council for the Welfare of Children (ZNCWC).

For more on CADASA visit their website or call +263 4 310504/+263 719260002/+263 719962364

 

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