KYDA presented a poster on family therapy interventions taking place at their centre during the second Uganda Alcohol Policy Conference. Family therapy is a collection of therapeutic approaches that share a belief in family-level assessment and intervention. 

The poster details the objectives and approach used in these family therapy interventions, and presents a series of recommendations in the conclusion.

Family therapy is that treatment that is aimed at addressing specific issues affecting health and functioning. This is always very helpful to the families going through a very difficult period just like the families KYDA Rehabilitation Centre is working with, which are alcoholic families.  KYDA Organization social workers and counselors always do the activity since they have got experience in child protection and alcohol harm, behavioral problems and domestic violence in line with substance use.

Capacity Building and Information Zoom Meeting Organised by Uganda Youth Development Link and ISSUP Uganda Chapter

This is a kind invitation to attend a Capacity building and information Zoom meeting organised by Uganda Youth Development Link and ISSUP Uganda Chapter

How to participate

  • Date: Tuesday 06-04-2021
  • Time: 11:00 am Nairobi (UTC +3:00)
  • Language: The session will be  in English

Main Presenter:

Ms. Sharon Lesa Nyambe

Head of Office

Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Officer

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Uganda


Mr. Kasirye Rogers

Executive Director

Uganda Youth Development Link

ISSUP Uganda Chapter-Lead

Topics for discussion:

  1. How practitioners can participate in the Vienna NGO Committee meeting due 12th to 16th April 2021.
  2. UNODC strategic vision for Africa
  3. African Union drug prevention strategy.
  4. How to network with the UNODC Country office in Kampala

Click and follow to Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 880 4119 4926
Passcode: 147038

Capacity building and information Zoom meeting


Capacity building and information Zoom meeting

Line Up Live Up-the UNODC life skills evidence-informed training programme-TOT Training Uganda 23-26 Feb 2021

Line Up Live Up  is a UNODC life skills evidence-informed training programme – that target individual risk factors can use sport to achieve positive skills formation and promote social development of a young person

The Line Up Live Up training curriculum is aimed at developing life skills through sports, Sport is a potent vehicle for the promotion of positive role models and constructive behaviour change. thus contributing to risks mitigation and protective factors formation. Targeting individual level, the training curriculum helps to reduce the risks of crime, violence and drug use through accumulation of protective factors such as knowledge, positive attitudes and life skills development.

Line Up Live Up is oriented at providing personal development opportunities and promoting life skills formation. Life skills allow individuals to deal with various situations, including pressures, stress and demands.

Life skills development is essential for increasing protective individual factors, as well as young people ability to interact with each other, develop positive relationships and efficiently cope with negative emotions and stressful situations.

Group photo of the participants who attended the TOT at Shimoni core Primary teachers college

The training was conducted from 23rd-26th Febuary 2021 at Shimoni core Primary Teacher College and was attended by 47 participants from Teacher training colleges, Universities, local community coaches and community based organisations and was graced by the commisioner- Physical Education and sports-Ministry of Education and Sports Mr.Omara Peter and Representative from UNODC Uganda Office Ms Sharon Nyambe and the Executive director Uganda Youth development Link.



Uganda: Alcohol Policy Champion Is Planning Another Legislative Attempt during new Parliamentary Mandate

Alcohol policy champion Hon. Betty Nambooze has vowed to renew her efforts to bring forward an Alcohol Law in Uganda to ensure comprehensive development and implementation of WHO-recommended alcohol policy during her new Parliamentary mandate.

In 2017, the Parliament of Uganda revived a private member’s Bill that sought to regulate the alcohol industry. The Alcoholic Drinks Control Bill, 2016, was initially brought forward by Betty Nambooze, the Mukono Municipality Member of Parliament (MP).

In 2016, MP Nambooze and a delegation of other MPs and their assistents joined Movendi International in Sri Lanka for a capacity-building trip, visiting with the Alcohol and Drug Information Center (ADIC), the National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol (NATA), and attending workshops with Movendi International – on the margins of the alcohol policy conference Movendi International and ADIC had organized.

The “21st Century Alcohol Policy and Prevention Conference” brought together policy makers and advocates from around the world, including H.E. the President of Sri Lanka, Maithripala Sirisena, other decision-makers from the South-East Asian region as well as East African leaders, including MP Nambooze.


In 2019, just five months after the government’s sachet alcohol banthe cabinet approved the new alcohol control policy for Uganda, the so called “National Alcohol Control Policy (NACP).”

The new policy aims to prevent and reduce alcohol harm through the following three measures:

  1. Strengthening the regulation of the production, packaging, distribution, marketing, sale and consumption of all alcohol beverages;
  2. Raising community awareness about the magnitude and determinants of the health, and the social and economic problems associated with alcohol use; and
  3. Enhancing capacity and increasing technical support for prevention of alcohol and management of associated alcohol use disorders.

From policy to law – through parliamentary leadership

While the adoption of the National Alcohol Control Policy (NACP) is to be celebrated, there is more to be done to develop and adopt an Alcohol Law in Uganda as envisioned by Betty Nambooze. An alcohol law is necessary to implement the NACP in the country. Almost two years after adoption of the NACP, a resulting alcohol law has yet to be adopted. Betty Nambooze who was elected again to the 11th Parliament of Uganda has vowed to renew her efforts to make this alcohol law a reality.

An alcohol law would provide for the regulation of alcohol manufacture, packaging, licensing, sale, and consumption; and the restriction of alcohol advertising, promotions and sponsorships; as well as the protection of alcohol control policies from commercial and other vested interests of the alcohol industry.

The road to the Ugandan alcohol control policy was in no way a smooth one due to the alcohol industry’s aggressive interference in the policy making process.

Fortunately, the member organizations of Movendi International and other civil society organizations came together to form the Uganda Alcohol Policy Alliance (UAPA) – supported by the Swedish IOGT-NTO movement. Together they rallied to ensure a public health centric alcohol control policy.

It is a time for the public health champions to show face again, to see a proper law if the gains made in the policy shall be consolidated,” David Kalema, President of UAPA and founder and Executive Director of Hope and Beyond.

David Kalema, President, Uganda Alcohol Policy Alliance (UAPA)photos of Hon.Nambooze (third from the right) with Movendi International President Kristina Sperkova (third from the left) after a workshop session on alcohol policy, in Colombo, Sri Lanka
alcohol policy champoin

DFAM Drug and Substance Abuse Conference 2021

Event Date

The Conference is designed to achieve the following objectives;

1. Undertake holistic review of drug trafficking and substance abuse in the north to define issues, classify challenges, identify opportunities, and develop collaborative frameworks for increased youth participation in drug abuse prevention and intervention process;

2. Cultivate the resilience, ingenuity and responsiveness of young people in countering the menace in the north through continuous dialogue, education, effective advocacy and networking;

3. Encourage information and experience sharing on countering drug trafficking and substance abuse related issues between different stakeholders in the youth sector, civil society, religious/traditional bodies, schools and the academia

4. Develop a unified road map for effective youth engagement in evidence drug abuse prevention within the region

Time: Feb 18, 2021 09:00 AM in West Central Africa

New Training of Staff in Medication Assisted Treatment

Uganda Has now officially started training in harm reduction and has created Medically Assisted Treatment (MAT) Clinics in one of its National referral Mental Hospital Alcohol and Drug Unit.

The training is ongoing for new and existing staff to run this new facility and MAT clients will be enrolled this coming month. 

A special thanks to all the efforts of Dr David Basangwa whose dream this is has now Patients at the Medically Assisted Treatment Clinicbecome a reality. 

Plenary 6: Review and Reflections - A Panel Session

Drug Demand Reduction in Africa Virtual Conference ISSUP
Event Date
South Africa

The Sixth Plenary Session of the 'Drug Demand Reduction in Africa: Prevention, Treatment and Epidemiology' Virtual Conference from 16th September to 10th November 2020.

Time: 2:00 – 4:00 pm SA

Register Here for Plenary 6: Review and Reflections: A Panel Session



Plenary Co-Chairs: African Union Commission and ISSUP Global

A panel session to respond to questions and issues arising from the previous five plenaries.

Panel Members (TBC):

  • Republic of South Africa
  • African Union Commission
  • ISSUP South Africa
  • ISSUP Global
  • INL
  • Colombo Plan


For more information on the 'Drug Demand Reduction in Africa: Prevention, Treatment and Epidemiology' Virtual Conference, please visit Africa 2020

Event Language


Plenary 4: Epidemiology and Its Role in Drug Demand Reduction

Plenary 4 - Africa Virtual Conference 2020
Event Date
South Africa

The Fourth Plenary Session of the 'Drug Demand Reduction in Africa: Prevention, Treatment and Epidemiology' Virtual Conference from 16th September to 10th November 2020.

Time: 2:00 – 4:00 pm SA 

Register Here for Plenary 4: Epidemiology and Its Role in Drug Demand Reduction


Plenary Chair: Dr. Reychad Abdool, African Union Commission

1. A Continental Overview of Drug Epidemiology in Africa


  • Professor Isidore Obot - Director, Centre for Research and Information on Substance Abuse, Nigeria

2. Regional Perspectives


  • Dr Olubusayo Akinola - Programme Officer, Drug Demand Reduction, ECOWAS Commission
  • Nadine Harker Burnhams - Research Scientist, South African Medical Research Council, SENDU/SACENDU

3. Overview of Drug epidemiology in Latin American and the Caribbean


  • Pernell Clarke - Research Specialist, Inter-American Observatory on Drugs, CICAD - Caribbean
  • Roberto Canay - Co-President, ISSUP Argentina - Latin America

4. Synchronising Global Drug Epidemiology Data Collection


  • Chloé Carpentier - Chief, Drug Research Section, Research Branch, UNODC
  • Enrico Bisogno - Chief, Data Development and Dissemination Unit, UNODC

5.  Question & Answer Session


For more information on the 'Drug Demand Reduction in Africa: Prevention, Treatment and Epidemiology' Virtual Conference, please visit Africa 2020

Event Language


Plenary 3: A Focus on Treatment and Recovery

Drug Demand Reduction in Africa Virtual Conference ISSUP
Event Date
South Africa

The Third Plenary Session of the 'Drug Demand Reduction in Africa: Prevention, Treatment and Epidemiology' Virtual Conference from 16th September to 10th November 2020.

Time: 2:00 – 4:00 pm SA 

Register Here for Plenary 3: A Focus on Treatment and Recovery


Plenary Chair: Kim Johnson, ICUDDR

1. Treatment Standards


  • Anja Busse - Programme Officer, Prevention, Treatment and Rehabilitation Section, Drug Prevention and Health Branch, UNODC

2. Service Quality Measurements in Treatment Facilities


  • Professor Bronwyn Myers - Chief Specialist Scientist, Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Research Unit, South African Medical Research Council

3. Best Practices in Treatment and UTC Training in Africa


  • George Murimi - Training Coordinator for Africa, Colombo Plan DAP

4. Credentialing and Certification


  • Becky Vaughn - Director, Global Centre for Credentialing and Certification (GCCC) Colombo Plan DAP

5. Case Studies of Treatment Programmes in Latin America/Caribbean and Africa


  • Bawo O. James - Consultant mental health physician and a certified addiction treatment specialist, Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria
  • Yuri Cutipé - Executive Director of Mental Health, Ministry of Health, Peru

6. Question & Answer Session


For more information on the 'Drug Demand Reduction in Africa: Prevention, Treatment and Epidemiology' Virtual Conference, please visit Africa 2020

Event Language


Plenary 2: Evidence-based Prevention: Policy and Practice

Drug Demand Reduction in Africa Virtual Conference ISSUP
Event Date
South Africa

The Second Plenary Session of the 'Drug Demand Reduction in Africa: Prevention, Treatment and Epidemiology' Virtual Conference from 16th September to 10th November 2020.

Time: 2:00 – 4:00 pm SA

Register Here for Plenary 2: Evidence-based Prevention: Policy and Practice


Plenary Chair: David Bayever, ISSUP South Africa

1. What Constitutes Evidence-Based Prevention?


  • Jeff Lee - Senior Consultant, ISSUP Global

2. Prevention Standards


  • Giovanna Campello - Chief, Prevention, Treatment and Rehabilitation Section, UNODC

3. Media-Based Prevention Programmes


  • William D. Crano - Oskamp Professor of Social Psychology, Division of Behavioral and Organizational Science, Claremont Graduate University, USA

4. Alcohol Use Prevention (data on alcohol use and environmental prevention initiatives)


  • Maristela Monteiro - Regional Advisor on Alcohol and Substance Abuse, Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) 
  • Professor Neo Morojele - Professor and Acting HOD, Department of Psychology, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Professor Nazarius Tumwesigye - Associate Professor and Head of Department, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Makerere University School of Public Health, Uganda
  • René Adams - Programme Manager, Substance Abuse Prevention and Drug Control Rehabilitation Division, Social Welfare Services Directorate, Ministry of Health and Social Services, Namibia

5. Question & Answer Session


For more information on the 'Drug Demand Reduction in Africa: Prevention, Treatment and Epidemiology' Virtual Conference, please visit Africa 2020

Event Language


Plenary 1: Setting the Scene for Drug Demand Reduction in Africa

Drug Demand Reduction in Africa Virtual Conference ISSUP
Event Date
South Africa

The First Plenary Session of the 'Drug Demand Reduction in Africa: Prevention, Treatment and Epidemiology' Virtual Conference from 16th September to 10th November 2020. 

Time: 2:00 – 4:10 pm SA

Register Here for 'Plenary 1: Setting the Scene for Drug Demand Reduction in Africa'


Plenary Chair: Jeff Lee and Livia Edegger, ISSUP Global

Conference Welcome and Introduction:

  • Jeff Lee, Senior Consultant, ISSUP Global
  • Livia Edegger, Deputy Director, ISSUP Global

1. Setting the Scene


  • Roger Weimann - President, ISSUP SA; Director, SANCA Eastern Cape
  • Joanna Travis-Roberts - Chief Executive, ISSUP Global
  • Brian Morales - Branch Chief Counternarcotics, Office of Global Programs and Policies (INL/GPP)
  • Ambassador Adam Namm - Executive Secretary, Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD), Organization of the American States (OAS)
  • Ms Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu - Deputy Minister, Republic of South Africa Department of Social Development (DSD)
  • Her Excellency Amira Elfadil - Commissioner for Social Affairs, African Union Commission (AUC) 

2. Global Perspective – A Global Overview of Drug Use


  • Giovanna Campello - Chief, Prevention, Treatment & Rehabilitation Section, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
  • Chloé Carpentier - Chief, Drug Research Section, Research Branch, UNODC

3. Continental Perspective – An Overview of Drug Use in Africa


  • Dr Jane Marie Ongolo - Head of Social Welfare, Vulnerable Groups and Drug Control, African Union Commission

4. African Union Plan of Action on Drug Control and Crime Prevention (2019-2023)


  • Dr Abel Basutu - Senior Drug Control Programme Officer, African Union Commission

5. Global Initiatives by the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, US State Department


  • William McGlynn - Senior Advisor, Office of Global Policy and Programs, Drug Demand Reduction, INL, U.S. Department of State
  • Bruno Bui - Foreign Affairs Officer, Office of Global Policy and Programs, Drug Demand Reduction, INL, U.S. Department of State

6. Regional Perspective – Latin America and the Caribbean


  • Marya Hynes - Chief, Inter-American Observatory on Drugs, CICAD

7. Summary and Invitation to Send Comments and Questions Arising from Inputs


For more information on the 'Drug Demand Reduction in Africa: Prevention, Treatment and Epidemiology' Virtual Conference, please visit Africa 2020

Event Language


Mobile truck community sensitization to address myths around alcohol and COVID-19

Mobile truck doing community sensitisation



In early March, 2020, the world was hit by a pandemic of COID-19, which has affected the lives of millions global.

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a new virus and spreads primarily through contact with an infected person when they cough or sneeze. It also spreads when a person touches a surface or objects that has the virus on it, and then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth.

The government through the ministry of health adopted preventive stay home measures which limited nearly all physicalinteraction activities in the communities including the closure of bars, this created room for  alcohol consumption in homes which has resulted into alcohol related harms especially domestic violence which is being reported to be on an increase.

Information on preventive measures is wholly aired on media channels including radio, TV and social media sites most of which are not easily accessed by the communities due to lack of radios, Tv set, smart phones ,interference in signals, lack of data to visit social media this  has kept many in the dark with only access to information got through word of mouth from colleagues which some time is inaccurate, Fear and misinformation have generated dangerous myths and misconceptions that consuming high strength alcohol can kill the CIVD-19 virus. 

The use of a mobile track sensitisation approach came in handy to address gaps in information and clear myths held in the communities.

Most of the notable myths held in the community included;

• “Drinking alcohol helps kills the virus in the body, whenever one takes it his body is fully set to fight a waragi will quickly burn it out of the body” one gentle man lamented in Bibo village in Gombe division.

• ”Corona is for people living in towns, working congested people with limited air but us here in the village we can freely do what we want drink our alcohol with no limitation, government lock down is wastage of our high life’ a young person in Matugga shared.

• “Sanitizers are made from alcohol, so what is wrong with buying alcohol you drink while washing your hands?

• “A drunkard is immune to the COVID19 virus, because his body is alcohol filled with alcohol, so no need to sanitize, body is already sanitized” a lady in Sanga shared.

 During the community sensitisation drive, the team consisting of a social worker, community development officer, health personnel from Buwambo health center up-to-date and accurate information about COVID-19 especially relating to alcohol use clarified on the myths and misconceptions as they transversed the villages while also emphasizing the guidelines by the ministry of health.

The community was informed that;

• alcohol has a deleterious effect on the immune system and cannot stimulate immunity and virus resistance so it is important to avoid alcohol all together so that one does not undermine his or her immune system and health and do not risk the health of other. 

• Ensure that children and young people  don’t  have access to alcohol and do not let them see you consume alcohol –be a role model

• Discuss with children the problems associated with drinking and COVID-19 such as violations of quarantine and physical which can make the pandemic worse.

Kye point

‘Under no circumstance should you drink any type of alcohol product as a means of preventing COVID 19 infection’

These efforts were greatly appreciated by the community especially the local leaders who informed the team that many people fill the virus is far away from them and since no one has died, there is no cause for alarm but now the community has got the information and will now behave with a lot of caution.



Facts about Alcohol and COVID-19



The COVID 19 pandemic globally has had a devastating negative impact especially in low income countries like Uganda who have fragile health system and can’t manage many cases. Governments declared lockdown and everything stood at stand still for over 75 days. Children and their families depending on small informal business closed, capital eaten up and didn’t know what to happen next.

Our entire 9 Drop in centers/safe spaces were closed and over 2000 slum youth and poor children scattered and a few went home. We received distress calls from some our young people we serve daily in our drop in centers that life had become unbearable, there was a lot of hunger, and some violence was inflicted on children. It is estimated that another 3 million Ugandans are expected to fall into abject poverty as a result increasing the number to 23 million people.

Children trying to cope in the pandemic were far worse off and some taken play by the exploiters in the name of giving food (exchange for sex). There was a spike and increase of sexual exploitation and abuse of children in the informal settlement and slums. Gladly we requested for support from University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) through Dr. Mary Jane Rotheram and OAK Foundation, who responded positively to this emergency to assist and help over 1500 children in Kampala city who were scattered in the city. UYDEL received USD $ 25,000 from OAK Foundation towards support for procurement and distribution of food relief and other basic necessities to young people to contribute to their welfare and also prevent infections of COVID 19 in the communities.

UYDEL Response: With support from our donors, we have put together hygiene basket composed of wash stands with buckets, soap and Dettol, with informational brochures that were distributed through our networks and with our partners in urban communities, and in support of local government leadership. We are mobilizing and supporting youth in our networks who know how to sew to make artisanal face masks that can be made available to the wider community on sale at reasonable cost.

UYDEL also tapped into the COVID 19 response fund under the EASY U25 Project to provide funds worth 96,726,000/= to cater for Foods and emergency support for vulnerable slum youth and their families under the project, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and support to Slum youth and UYDEL Staff while at the drop-in centers and Secretariat and Provide Foods and emergency support for vulnerable slum youth and their families under the project.

food donations
Food donations

In these few weeks we have seen families living in extreme poverty being hit even harder by the crisis as prices for basic food items and supplies skyrocket.  We are lobbying our networks for support and once this is realised then we plan to provide these families with additional cash subsidies to help keep food on the table. For homeless people and children this is worse. The UYDEL communication and M&E team has worked on critical messages to share as the risk for violence and exploitation of women and children - especially girls – increases significantly in times of crisis. These messages will be shared on community radio, on Whatsapp networks, by text messaging and other ways UYDEL usually communicate.


end GBV and Alcohol abuse



Conclusion: This has so far been a successful activity since many young people have benefitted from the relief items. We still have some leftover food to reach some more young people. However, many numbers of youths are still unreached and they need food now since the lock down has been extended for another 21 days. Many will not start immediately any enterprises to improve their survival and coping.  We anticipate many parents will not be able to support their children in the immediate future and many children are likely to be enticed into sexual exploitation, homelessness ness.

The way forward goals are to reach 1,300 (900 girls and 400 males) at UYDEL training centers and 9 city youth drop in centers. Vulnerable poor hit by pandemic as a short term measure to reduce trauma, dependency, sexual exploitation, trafficking, and violence and encourage recovery and also to build resilience and social capital for full recovery and reduce trauma and sexual exploitation.

Situation Analysis of Alcohol Abuse among Youth during the COVID 19 Lockdown in Uganda


Alcohol Harm Prevention Project

Radio Talk Show Report

Discussion Topic: Situation analysis of Alcohol abuse among young during the COVID 19 lock down

Station: Tiger FM 102.5 frequency  located in Nansana Municipality

Date:11th June 2020; 9:00AM to 10:00AM         

Guests: Mr. Mutaawe Rogers; Senior Programme Manager & Mr. Lubega Andrew; Project Officer


  • To discuss the situation of alcohol abuse among young people during the COVID 19 lock down
  • To share experiences about the effects of risky behaviours among youths in Uganda.
  • To offer solutions to address the challenges of alcohol use that affect youths.
  • To share the way forward towards supporting the youths during this “new normal” in Uganda

Background information

This is a morning flagship programme conducted in the local language Luganda on Tiger FM. The radio set aside every Thursday to discuss key salient issues that concern health of people in the community hence the topic of the day.

Summary of the proceedings

The moderator asked Mr. Mutaawe to define alcohol use and abuse. In his submission, Mr. Mutaawe said that alcohol is mainly composed on methanol and is a socially acceptable in society. However, many people and especially children and young people are increasingly misusing the alcohol and are taking it daily in uncontrolled amounts which has led to addictions and dependence. Addictions are mainly a result of peer pressure, stress, family environment and poverty. He said that children as young as 14 years have been taken to Butabika for treatment which is a worrying situation for the country and that about 20% of cases in hospital have alcohol related problems.


Mr. Lubega on the other hand said that field work experience of UYDEL had showed that young people were increasingly getting hooked to alcohol during the lock down.  This is mainly due to lack of engagement in productive activities as many have not been working which left them idle. The availability of alcohol in bars/shops has made it very easy for young people to engage in alcohol consumption in addition to the environment, family and peer pressure. Despite the Presidential directives of closure of all bars, some people are buying a lot of alcohol and storing it in their homes which has exacerbated the problems. Alcohol is no ordinary commodity for all people to access on streets, bars, shops and other places.


On the issue of parental guidance, Mr. Mutaawe noted that many parents are busy working leaving little or no time for children at home. In due process children lack role models and end up belonging to bad peer groups. Likewise, some parents drink at home and also leave alcohol in refrigerators which pre disposes children to alcohol consumption at an early age. He called on the parents to be good role models to their children during these hard times.


Mr. Lubega also highlighted that UYDEL was implementing activities of the Alcohol Harm prevention project that include; follow up the enforcement of the alcohol bylaws; training of NGOs/CBOs in advocacy skills; sensitization meetings with local leaders in the Divisions; conduct community awareness dialogue sessions about the enforcement of the alcohol bylaws in the targeted Divisions; conduct training sessions on harms of alcohol with villagers; awareness raising through music dance and drama shows in the project areas; conduct sensitization meetings with owners of entertainment places, bars, supermarkets in targeted communities; develop and print bylaw materials such as posters, stickers for dissemination in target areas and media talk shows.


Mr. Mutaawe informed the listeners that UYDEL had been serving the most marginalized out of school young people for the last 25 years in Kampala and rural communities. UYDEL provides services to the most at risk populations, street children, slum youth through life skills education, counselling, vocational skills training and apprenticeship, career guidance, and psychosocial support. He observed that youths are faced with problems of poverty, alcohol and drug abuse, high teenage pregnancies, crime, vulnerabilities to trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation. The youths have been for long been neglected and that’s why government programmes now have tended to target them more especially the youth livelihood program. He encouraged youths to be patient and establish viable business ventures that are profitable and legal. He encouraged youths to always look out for opportunities basing on where they stay. For example he informed them to think creatively during this lock down and probably engage in new viable employment opportunities within their communities to avoid the challenges of unemployment.

  1. John Paul from Vision High school Kawempe thanked the guests for the insightful information. He noted that government gets taxes from alcohol and this makes it difficult to curb alcohol abuse. He also wondered why Police doesn’t enforce the drug law yet many youths consume these illicit substances from known places.
  2. A gentleman by the names “Small eye” from Semuto urged government to ban cheap alcohol to promote a generation free from alcohol related harm.
  3. Another caller from Kyebando stated that government is to blame for increased alcohol use because it has not help the youths   and they have lost hope.
  4. Another caller from Kikandwa wanted to know how UYDEL helps those trainees that graduate from vocational skills training.

Mr. Mutaawe said that police have the duty to arrest people who break the law by using drugs and abusing alcohol. He urged the community leaders to regularly engage the police to do their work. He also noted that government may not ban alcohol now but advocacy for alcohol regulation shall continue to ensure that the law and policy promote public health.


Mr. Lubega in his response urged the youths to be creative and engage in viable economic activities other than waiting for support from government. He also informed the listeners that upon completion of skills training the UYDEL trainees are linked to potential employers for internship while others are supported with startup tool kits whenever resources are available.



Way forward

Mr. Mutaawe concluded by thanking the host for inviting him to share his experiences with young people and also teaching the youths values of self-reliance and survival to address the unemployment problem. He thanked the station for the opportunity and urged the management to always create time for developmental programs. He urged the young people to stay resilient and calm as the Nation grapples with the lock down.


On the other hand, Mr. Lubega urged the youths to avoid alcohol use and abuse by being in presence of good peer groups, applying life skills, and engage in productive ventures. He noted that UYDEL will continue working closely with Nansana Municipality to develop alcohol bylaws to regulate alcohol sale and consumption. He called upon the business owners to always consider public health and safety as they sale alcohol. They should not sale to minors.

prevention of Alcohol related Harm during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Training on Drug Prevention in Conjunction with 23rd Session of the Commission of Narcotic Drugs (CND 2-6 March 2020 in Vienna, Austria

Mr. Kasirye Rogers attended a meeting on drug prevention in conjunction with the 23rd Sessions of the Commission of Narcotic Drugs (CND 2-6 March, 2020 in Vienna Austria). It was organized by Drug Free America Foundation Inc., a world drug abuse prevention leader with over five divisions in drug abuse policy work.

The focus of the meeting was to get an opportunity to share our concerns and views at several meetings alongside the CND, network with like-minded organizations as well as share and learn the effects substance misuse has on other cultures and regions and educate each other on the effects, promising programmers, innovations and interventions in prevention, treatment and recovery.

A lot of information and knowledge was shared by experts in the substance use prevention field. Discussion were also held on drug policy, the harms of drug abuse and policy responses.

The training meeting created an opportunity for civil society and NGOs entities and individuals to have the ability to advocate for ideas and policies that were meaningful and of interest especially from the Globe.

The week-long training provided opportunities to attend daily side events, daily lectures or discussions utilizing world experts in substance misuse policy for almost 2 hours every day. We also attended VNGOC meetings. We would like to encourage other NGOs working in the substance use disorders field to register and become members of the Committee.



RE: Alcohol and COVID-19; Two pandemics colliding 

 In Uganda we have seen a spike and unprecedented levels of drinking leading to increase in domestic violence and addiction levels. Some men are spending more time drinking and hence diverting money meant for food to buying alcohol.
Facts about alcohol in relation to COVID 19
a) Consuming high-strength alcohol does not kill the COVID-19 virus. If adulterated with methanol, can result in severe health consequences, including death.
b) Alcohol is not a food stuff
c) Alcohol is not an essential commodity
Alcohol use is related to COVID 19 in the following ways;
1. There are high chances that some bars and pubs may be operating illegally as they currently yearn for customers to buy alcohol despite the fact that they have been prohibited by government not to operate. This is recipe for the spread of the COVID 19 because there is a likelihood of close contact with patrons without observing social distancing.
2. There have been reported cases of domestic violence which is partly attributable to drunk husbands beating their wives during this crisis situation.
3. Drinking alcohol weakens the immune system and increases the risk of adverse health outcomes which makes it difficult for the body to fight infections like COVID 19.
4. Drinking alcohol affects one’s ability to make sensible choices or decisions to protect oneself from COVID 19.
5. Increased alcohol use among the community members as they try to deal with unemployment, stress, and loneliness during the lock down.

There are other ways to deal with stress without drinking alcohol.
Restricting Alcohol Access during the COVID-19 pandemic
The Uganda Government has issued a variety of “stay at home” orders, nearly all of which ban on-premise food or alcohol consumption and the subsequent closure of bars and restaurants to patrons. These unforeseen and new challenges have led to new approaches to alcohol sales in many areas, including alcohol delivery through food service apps.

 We have seen social media platforms that are promoting online adverts from one of the big alcohol industries in Uganda encouraging the population living in Kampala and Wakiso to visit a website and place an order which would be delivered to the respective patron in line with government movement directives. We condemn these acts in the strongest terms possible.

The Alcohol Industry should not reap from the people especially at this time when people should spend wisely the little they have since the economy is slow now. This is a time to promote healthy behavioural changes; people should stay home sober with their families to avoid likely consequences of alcohol use.
The general population should be reminded to observe the following;

a) Parents/guardians should be role models to their children and young people by making sure they do not have access to alcohol. Parents should talk to them about why drinking affects
 behaviours that can expose you more to the virus.
b) People should stay calm without alcohol. Fear and anxiety are common during the
pandemic. Alcohol only makes them worse. Do not drink alcohol to cope with your
c) People should be resilient without alcohol. Drinking alcohol during home isolation increases
the risk of violence and injury.
We therefore appeal to;
1. Government to regulate and impose a complete ban on the distribution, transportation and sale of any liquor and alcohol in any form during this 21-day COVID 19 lock down. Many young people and men are resorting to drinking liquor in homes and urban centers in big groups which compromises social distancing. This is a factor that needs urgent and timely attention.
2. Government should institute another taskforce to support affected communities by providing psychosocial support, and counselling services to cope, adjust and adapt with the current situation.
3. Media programmes need to focus on building and communicating hope, adaptation to the current situation, recovery and successful outcomes post COVID 19 lock down. Less time should be allocated to issues of hopelessness, unemployment, stress and trauma.
4. The COVID 19 prevention messages should be complemented by communicating with the public about the risks of alcohol consumption, and maintaining and strengthening alcohol and drug rehabilitation services.
Rogers Kasirye
Executive Director
For further details you may visit

Stop domestic violence and alcohol abuse as we protect our families from COVID-19

Motivational Interviewing Course: Assisting Patients in Making Sustainable Positive Lifestyle Changes

This free webinar-based training course on Motivational Interviewing (MI) is presented by Igor Koutsenok, MD, MS, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California San Diego, Department of Psychiatry.

Igor Koutsenok ISSUP Motivational Interviewing

Motivational Interviewing is an essential, client-centered, counseling style for eliciting behavior change by helping clients to explore and resolve ambivalence. We are absolutely thrilled to bring you this skills-building opportunity presented by a recognized expert in the field of MI.

The course consists of four sessions (originally held during June 2020).

Course Description

This is a training in evidence-based clinical methods of motivational interviewing (MI). After orientation to the underlying spirit and principles of MI, practical exercises will help participants to strengthen empathy skills, recognize and elicit change talk, and roll with resistance. Research evidence will be reviewed for the efficacy of MI and for the importance of building therapeutic relationships in clients’ outcomes. Integration of MI with other treatment modalities will be considered.     

Course Objectives

The goal is to provide knowledge and practical skill training for various practitioners on effective ways to enhance motivation of patients with substance use disorders that require significant behavioral changes to initiate and sustain positive and healthy behavioral choices. Skill building, and experiential training will be emphasized throughout the course by exercises to develop a therapeutic alliance with patients, assess patient needs, level of engagement in treatment process, structure treatment sessions, select appropriate interventions, and assist patient in maintaining motivation for a sustainable behavioral change.

Participants will learn the basic and advanced skills in motivational interviewing and strategies for engaging patients in collaborative relationship in treatment process and assist them in achieving sustainable positive behavioral changes. The course will:

  1. Help participants to acquire a systemic perspective of motivational interviewing and other motivational enhancement strategies;
  2. Build necessary clinical skills and attitudes to implement new strategies in working with ambivalent patients.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the course, every participant will be able to:

  1. Describe all the aspects of the spirit of MI
  2. Explain the differences between MI and other counselling strategies
  3. Demonstrate the ability to respond to clients with reflective listening statements
  4. Identify change talk within client speech
  5. Generate open questions designed to elicit change talk
  6. Generate MI-consistent responses to client resistant statements
  7. Differentiate commitment language from other forms of change talk
  8. Provide and empathetic summary statements collecting change talk

Session 1: 

Motivational Interviewing: Basic Understanding

After orientation to the underlying spirit and principles of MI, practical exercises will help participants to strengthen empathy skills, recognize and elicit change talk, and roll with resistance. Research evidence will be reviewed for the efficacy of MI and for the importance of building a therapeutic relationship in clients’ outcomes. Integration of MI with other treatment modalities will be considered.  

Learning outcomes:

  • Introduction: Motivation and behavioral change in addiction medicine
  • Review of the concepts of Ambivalence, Stages of change, the righting reflex, limits of persuasion.
  • Spirit of MI
  • Expressing empathy
  • Roadblocks to communication
  • Four Processes in MI

Duration: 1 hour

Webinar Recording 

Slide Deck

Session 2: 

Fundamental Skills in MI - OARS

This session will focus on Fundamental Skills in MI (OARS), providing practical exercises to help participants to strengthen empathy skills, recognize and elicit change talk, and roll with resistance. Participants will learn strategies for engaging patients in a collaborative relationship in the treatment process and assist them in achieving sustainable positive behavioral changes. Research evidence will be reviewed for the efficacy of MI and for the importance of building a therapeutic relationship in clients’ outcomes. Integration of MI with other treatment modalities will be considered.    

Learning outcomes:

  • Open and closed ended questions
  • Affirmations
  • Summaries
  • Rowing with OARS

Duration: 1 hour

Webinar recording

Session 3:

Fundamental Skills in MI Continued

This third session will continue to focus on MI fundamentals, with a focus on more advanced skills and the integration of MI with other strategies and treatment modalities. Research evidence will be reviewed for the efficacy of MI and for the importance of building therapeutic relationship in clients’ outcomes.       

Learning outcomes:

  • Recognition and responding to change talk and sustain talk
  • Forming reflections
  • Levels of reflections
  • Recognizing readiness
  • Initial and intermediate planning
  • Integration with other skills and strategies

Duration: 1 hour

Webinar recording 

Session 4: 

The fourth and final session continues to build on MI Fundamentals covered in Session 3, increasing your knowledge of advanced MI skills.

Duration: 1 hour

Webinar recording 


About Professor Koutsenok

Dr. Igor Koutsenok is а Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California San Diego, Director of the Center for Addiction Research, Training and Application, Director of the SAMHSA PEPFAR International Addiction Technology Transfer Center-Ukraine, and a co-director of the SAMHSA PEPFAR South East Asia Addiction Technology Transfer Center. He is also a Vice-President of the International Consortium of Universities on Drug Demand Reduction.

In 1983 he graduated as a medical doctor from the National Medical University in Kiev, (Ukraine). In 1986, he completed his psychiatry residency training and received degree as psychiatrist from the Medical University in Sofia (Bulgaria). In 1993-1996 he received a degree in addiction psychiatry at the University of London, Department of Addictive Behavior and Psychological Medicine at St. Georges Hospital Medical School. In 1996, he was recruited by the University of California San Diego, School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and since then he serves as faculty member of the Department. In 2013-2016 he served as Chief of Prevention, Treatment, and Rehabilitation at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, United Nations Office in Vienna.

Over the last 25 years Dr. Koutsenok led the design and implementation of multiple training and technical assistance programs for mental health and addiction treatment practitioners, primary health care and social work practitioners, criminal justice professionals in the United States and around the world. He is also directing the UCSD Summer Clinical Institute - the second longest running Summer Institute in the United States (over 40 years). Dr. Koutsenok is also a member of the International Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT). 

For many years, Dr. Koutsenok taught general and addiction psychiatry to medical students, psychiatry residents, psychology trainees, social workers, criminal justice professionals, and policy makers around the world. He is a recipient of numerous national and international awards. He has authored and co-authored over 50 scientific publications, one monograph, and contributed to 4 book. Dr. Koutsenok has been invited as a presenter and trainer to hundreds of conferences and workshops in the USA and more than 40 countries around the world. He is a proud father of three.

Access to Drug Treatment Services in Nigeria: The Challenge of Addiction Workforce

Event Date


Presenters: Drs. Chia Francis and Mashika Esther

This webinar will illuminate the level of drug use in Nigeria, efforts made so far to address access to drug abuse treatment services in Nigeria, and details of a study regarding access to treatment.

Thursday June 4th 2020
Time: 11 AM BST / 6 AM EDT

You Are Invited to an Interactive Dialogue: Alcohol and COVID-19: A Dangerous Mix - May 8, 2020: 2:00-3:30pm ET

What are Interactive Dialogues?

Interactive Dialogues are a series of virtual meetings hosted by USAPA in order to foster the spread of ideas and greater connection among those working in the field of alcohol policy. The Interactive Dialogues are intended to create a space where members of community alcohol and other drug coalitions, local and state public health departments, and other ATOD prevention and public health practitioners can gather and discuss timely alcohol policy issues. Sessions will include a panel of 2-3 people with expertise on the given topic. Panelists will provide short introductory comments followed by facilitation and moderation of questions and discussion by members of USAPA. There will be significant opportunity to discuss live and pre-assembled questions from the audience with the goal of taking action on these issues. 

Description of USAPA's first Interactive Dialogue

In early March, 2020, the U.S. was hit with the global pandemic of COID-19, which has affected the lives of millions of Americans. States and local governments have issued a variety of “shelter in place” and “stay at home” orders, nearly all of which ban on-premise food or alcohol consumption and the subsequent closure of bars and restaurants to patrons. These unforeseen and new challenges have led to new approaches to alcohol sales in many states, including the sale of to-go cocktails, direct shipping, and alcohol delivery through food service apps. At the corporate level, companies such as Anheuser-Busch InBev and MillerCoors have pledged to engage in a range of “good will” efforts including helping to financially support employees who are out of work. 


This interactive dialogue will discuss some of the state and national changes in alcohol availability as a result of COVID-19, and serve as a listening session for the other alcohol industry friendly measures occurring at the state and local level. Participants will hear from experts and will have ample time to share their own experiences. The key findings from this discussion will result in resources that can be shared with the broader alcohol policy and prevention field. 

Session Objectives

This first Interactive Dialogue offers an opportunity for prevention practitioners to:


  • Learn about and better understand the harms associated with changes in alcohol availability as a result of an unexpected pandemic, including the increasingly blurred line between on and off premises sales;
  • Share emerging changes to alcohol sales that will not only impact alcohol-related harms in the short-term, but have the potential to set dangerous precedents that will damage the three tier system long-term; and
  • Discuss ways communities can take action to prevent the harms associated with increased access to alcohol.
  • Discuss ways to ensure that temporary policies do not become permanent.
  • Consider possible data collection to make the case about alcohol related harms.

Application of Research Findings to Action

Community coalitions, public health departments, and local prevention organizations can play an important role in ensuring that the public’s health and safety is maintained and harm from alcohol is minimized, especially as the country battles other new and emerging threats. There is important work to be done at the local and state levels to bring a more balanced public health approach during the pandemic. Presenters and participants will discuss possible actions that acknowledge the financial challenges confronting local retailers encouraging the maintenance and establishment of evidence-based alcohol policy. 


  • David Jernigan, Ph.D., Professor – Boston University School of Public Health
  • Cassandra Greisen, Director of Public Policy - National Alcohol Beverage Control Association
  • Steven Schmidt, Sr. VP of Public Policy and Communications – National Alcohol Beverage Control Association




  • Traci Toomey, Ph.D, University of Minnesota; Co-chair USAPA Advisory Board
  • Michael Sparks, MA, SparksInitiatives; Co-chair USAPA Advisory Board

For More Information and to Register, click here.


Or visit the USAPA Website at 

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