Interview with Antonio Vázquez de la Torre, Rotary Club representative for the universal prevention training project for families “Together, We Grow.”
How to prevent drugs? After signing an agreement of collaboration between Dianova and the Rotary Action Group for addiction prevention, the prevention project “Together, We Grow” will begin in January 2022. The project will be carried out by Dianova and Rotary.
We spoke with Antonio Vázquez de la Torre, delegate of the Humanitarian Foundation of Spanish Rotarians in the Balearic Islands, member of the Junípero Serra Rotary Club in Palma de Mallorca (Spain) and “ambassador” of the project.
What are the priorities of the Rotary Club, and what work does it do?
The Rotary is a philanthropic organisation that brings together professionals and entrepreneurs from all of society’s labour sectors in order to improve the society in which they live through social projects and the cooperation forged among members of the club.
It was born as an initiative among a group of friends in Chicago at the beginning of the twentieth century, who saw how they could use their work contacts for the development of their communities.
What are the problems that are the greatest concern for the Rotary regarding addiction?
The problem of addictions, with and without substance, is a constant problem in Spanish society. It doesn’t seem strange to us to see or hear about cases of young people hooked on mobile phones or making sports bets. With regard to drugs, it is a very serious problem and even more so when today there are many places to get access to substances. There is a greater spread of addictions and other risky behaviours in adolescence, and the “Together, We Grow” project responds to a pressing need.
How to prevent drug use? It is essential to answer this question, therefore, addictions prevention falls within the areas of interest of the Rotary Foundation in “prevention of diseases,” along with six other areas of interest that are to promote peace, prenatal health, environment, water resources, literacy, and community development. Furthermore, Rotary Club has as a central axis: working with youth, who are very affected by the problem of addictions.
Also, there is a “Rotary Action Group for Addiction Prevention” (RAG AP in its acronym in English), which is responsible for informing, encouraging, supporting, and advising Rotary clubs and districts on how to address the problem of addiction and how to prevent addictions. In addition, it ensures that the projects supported by the Rotary are based on evidence in the area of prevention.
Therefore, it is a problem present in society that must be answered, which has been identified as one of the Foundation’s areas of interest and which is also supported on a technical level in the Rotary with the intervention of the RAG AP.
“Together, We Grow: families as health agents” is one of the projects led by the Rotary in conjunction with Dianova. Could you give us a few touches on this project?
The “Together, We Grow” project is a drug prevention programme in adolescence. It is an online training for families interested in preventing the causes and consequences of inappropriate use of alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, technology, and other risky behaviours for young people (emotional, sexual or violent). It is a universal prevention programme, that is to say, a programme aimed at the entire public, regardless of whether or not problematic consumptions and behaviours have been observed.
It is urgent to develop more activities to prevent drug use in adolescence. The training will train families as health agents, so that they prevent, recognize, and intervene at the first symptoms of risk. It is especially suitable for families with children from 8 to 16 years old.
The programme will consist of 6 online modules of an hour and a half, in which small groups of up to 20 people will meet with a professional to address this topic interactively. The first module will begin in January 2022 and has a cost of 125 Euros per participant, of which the participant will only pay 25 Euros, since the rest is funded by the Rotary and the RAG AP.
Why do you think it is important for families to participate in the “Together, We Grow” prevention programme?
Ultimately, it is the families who have to educate their sons and daughters. Education in families is an essential issue: they have a central role and they are the main stakeholders in preventing addictions and risky behaviours. If you have the tools in the family environment, and as health agents, you can be the first to sound the alarm, you can act preventively and more effectively.
Click here to access training registration page (in Spanish)