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03/13/2016 - Former Addict Speaks to Teen Club as Part of Drug and Alcohol Prevention Project

Youths at Negba’s Teen Club sat enraptured as they listened to a guest speaker, a former substance abuser, who began to drink and take drugs at the age of 14. Now clean for seven years, the former addict was a user until the age of 33. The encounter was part of the Teen Club’s participation in a 13-week project of the Beersheva Municipal Authority for the War on Drugs and Alcohol. The project will culminate with Negba’s teens designing their own anti-drug and alcohol sticker, distributing 500 of them throughout Beersheva, and competing in a city-wide contest.

The former addict addressed the peer pressure he experienced as a teen, to which he unfortunately succumbed. Negba’s teens took much from his experience and insight. “I learned that we don’t have to give in to social pressures even though they are very strong,” said Aviv, 15. “I can, and should, stick to what I believe in and know is right.”

Though they are certainly exposed to drugs and alcohol, Negba’s teens are thankfully not substance users. But many have friends who use them, and even parents. The social pressures to use drugs and consume alcohol are very palpable in their daily lives. Dana, 15, captured the sentiment of most of the teens: “I don’t believe that drug or alcohol addiction will happen to me. But I know that it can happen.”

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