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Illicit Drugs Rehabilitation Unit at AMBSO

Since 2017 AMBSO established a community prevention and response program addressing the dangers of alcohol and Illicit Drug use manned by the Illicit drug Rehabilitation Unit (IDRU).


Prevention Approach

Black-spot prevention campaigns (BSPC)

These have been used to target youths who are at a greater risk of using the drugs. During these campaigns, parents to the youths are encouraged to bring their children to engage in health education dialogues organized at a gazette places. Continued dialogues are organized for follow up purposes and printed information about the dangers of drug use is provided.  

Programming on prevention and response to Alcohol and Drug use

The program seeks to promote wellness, resilience and recovery through psychosocial counseling and use of various therapeutic procedures individuals in the selected communities in Wakiso District.

As part of the rehabilitation and behavioral change plan, the drug users enrolled to the program are supported to discover their potentials in achieving good health by discussing with them alternatives that can yield into increased productivity and development to benefit their families and the community at large.

Approaches used for the AMBSO Drugs program

AMBSO employs three unique approaches have been used in to implement the prevention and response activities to Illicit drug use. These include;

  • Prevention
  • Rehabilitation
  • Advocacy

Community Intervention Partners (CIPs)

  • The prevention Services are delivered by trained local leaders and community volunteers termed as “community intervention partners (CIPs)”. These are identified from the communities by the local leader as potential drivers to change.
  • The CIPs deliver health education messages to their communities and as well using printed media to create awareness on the dangers associated with use of alcohol and illicit drugs.
  • CIPs also lead health education sessions with groups of people in the community as well as one on one interactions targeting youths in betting and other gambling places, boda boda stages and many others.


The rehabilitation arm of the drugs program is reflected under 3 main components including;


Rehabilitation is spearheaded by a team of AMBSO trained counselors who provide psychosocial counseling and support to drug addicts in an effort to transform them to live a better life.


Over 30 drug addicts have been seen to be transformed and have completely quit use of drugs. AMBSO carries out regular home visits to the drug addicts to offer psychosocial support also advocate and monitor family support for sustained change

Monitoring and Evaluation of the Rehabilitation

AMBSO uses pre-designed forms to track screening, linkage to care, and drug adherence. The program also assesses information on preventions measures to acquiring HIV and self-sustenance through programs such as the Village Savings and Loans programs.

School Advocacy Program (SAP)

  • This is manned by school teachers who are referred to as “School Advocacy Program Coordinators”. These are trained by AMBSO to take charge of promoting advocacy approaches against alcohol and drug use in schools.
  • AMBSO also developed a school kit with education messages about alcohol and drug use among young people. These have been distributed in schools to provide guidance to SAPCs in providing health education messages against Illicit drug use.
  • The schools also have an Illicit Drugs prevention club code-named AMBSO club. The AMBSO club facilitates students to meet in groups and dialogue about alcohol and illicit drug use and the danger the practice poses.


The Illicit drugs Rehabilitation program at AMBSO carries out its advocacy program using 2 fronts;

Stakeholders at the district

AMBSO has established a strong relationship with the district stake holders including politician who provide support in extending advocacy programs particularly in prevention of use of illicit drugs.

Administration and policy formulation bodies in school

The advocacy program also extends into schools where the SAPCs have well-coordinated the drug prevention activities championing the schools regulations against bad practices such as drug use through AMBSO club in schools.