Help Us Raise Awareness

to improve access to treatment for substance use disorders and related mental disorders.

Help Us Raise Awareness

to improve access to treatment for substance use disorders and related mental disorders.

Our Mission

Your Ally Foundation, Inc.’s mission is trifold — dedication to raising awareness & community sensitization, social mobilization and health education about substance use disorders and related mental health disorders in low and middle-income countries as well as in the african diaspora in the New England area. Currently we are operating in Uganda and Zambia with future plans to expand to other low and middle income countries.

Recent Research

Current Research Regarding Legal Performance-Enhancing Substance and Substance Use Problems Among Young Adults

Opioids and Covid 19: The Impact of the Pandemic on Efforts to Prevent and Treat Opioid Use Disorder

At Your Ally Foundation, Our Work is Based on 8 Core Values

Respect

Use non-stigmatizing language to reduce social stigma related to substance use and related mood disorders.

Collaboration

Partner with established social agitators and collaborate with vetted entities in the community to disseminate factual information.

Inclusion

Addiction knows no boundaries. Everyone is directly or indirectly affected, no matter the social economic status, education status, ethnicity or gender. We aim to work with everyone seeking help and support.

Excellence in Programming

Develop evidence-based treatment approaches that work. Many traditional addiction treatment models being used today are antiquated and do not meet the current needs.

Growth

Take a targeted approach to grow the foundation's resources to better meet identified needs.

Fostering Creativity

Use creative and non-traditional means of addressing addictions in the youth. Creativity is increasingly being validated as a potent mind/body approach as well as a cost-effective intervention to address a variety of challenges across the lifespan.

Innovation

Use new and innovative approaches to treat those struggling with substance use disorders and to educate treatment personnel.

Bi-Directional Learning

Use bi-directional data exchange and collaborative workflows to understand patients and minimize harm related to substance use. Your Ally Foundation's goal is to shine a light on how to care for patients with addictions in a culturally congruent manner.

Breaking Barriers and Reducing Stigma

The following information is credited to the Greyken Center for Addiction Medicine.

Non-Stigmatizing Language

  • Person with a substance use disorder

Stigmatizing Language

  • Substance abuser or drug abuser
  • Alcoholic
  • Addict
  • User
  • Abuser
  • Drunk

Non-Stigmatizing Language

  • Babies born with an opioid dependency

Stigmatizing Language

  • Addicted babies / born addicted

Non-Stigmatizing Language

  • Substance use disorder or addiction
  • Use, misuse

Stigmatizing Language

  • Drug habit
  • Abuse
  • Problem

Non-Stigmatizing Language

  • Person in recovery
  • Abstinent
  • Not drinking or taking drugs

Stigmatizing Language

  • Clean

Non-Stigmatizing Language

  • Treatment or medication for addiction
  • Medication for Opioid Use Disorder/Medication for Alcohol Use Disorder
  • Positive, negative (toxicology screen results)

Stigmatizing Language

  • Substitution or replacement therapy
  • Medication-Assisted Treatment
  • Clean, dirty

Locations in Africa Where We Collaborate

YAF 01 216h

National Referral Hospital Butabika, Kampala Uganda

YAF 03a Butabika Hospital 216h

National Referral Hospital Butabika, Kampala Uganda

YAF 03b-c Chainama Hills 216h

Chainama Hills National Referral Hospital, Lusaka Zambia

Achieving the Best Outcome at Your Ally Foundation

Preventing drug misuse and diminishing its health effects

Primary Prevention

By taking action to intervene before identified at risk groups gain access to substances. This includes sensitizing the public at large especially with main goal is to target those who yet to accessed substances however they are at high risk for example school age children, the youth, and low social economic status individuals.

At this stage our goal is to reduce or mitigate identified risky behaviors. We provide factual, evidenced-based scientific information about the brain and addictions. Additionally, we address behaviors that may contribute to alcohol, illicit substances and tobacco use.

On a policy level, we advocate public health interventions that restrict access to substances e.g. easily accessible alcohol sachet packaging, requiring IDs to obtain alcohol at sources of supply etc.

Secondary Prevention

By using standardized and verified tools, identify those who have experimented with substances however are not consistent users.

Community outreach to them in the earliest stages, before the they begin using consistently is beneficial. At this stage, we are building on the primary prevention interventions and continue with support to mitigate conversion to consistent substances users.

Our expected outcome is that this cohort of people does not progress to using substances regularly or ceases to use completely.

At this stage we are also supporting healthcare providers and trained community advocates to provide services including psycho education regarding substances, training providers to use motivational enhancement and motivational interviewing skills. Providing online resources and using social media to leverage access to factual information is vital.

Tertiary Prevention

Outreach to those already addicted and are regular substance users. Post diagnosis and treatment, goal is reduction in use and maintenance of sobriety (harm reduction). Relapse prevention post rehabilitation is a major component of Tertiary prevention.

Here we are talking long term rehabilitation, and screening for complications related to substance use, such as related mental disorders-depression, anxiety, PTSD etc. and addressing them. This is to be done upon individuals achieving sustained sobriety.

Interventions include long term residential treatment and advocating for continued substance use treatment through evidence-based modalities including Smart Recovery, AA, NA. Educating the family and friends to support this group has shown to yield desired outcomes. Connecting this cohort to community organizations for supported employment adds value and meaning to their lives.

Expected outcome is to prevent further injury including DEATH from complications related to substance use. We advocate for less punitive policies that give them a second chance at a productive life.

Other Preventions Include:

  • Parenting education classes about the psychopathology of addictions.
  • Educating policy makers about addictions- chronic nature of the illness.
  • Advocate for less punitive approached to substances use and related sequalae
  • Sensitizing the public about trauma and correlation to substance use
  • Supporting addictions healthcare personnel — empower them to provide quality care, prevent moral injury and provide continuing education.

Susan Wilkinson, founder of Your Ally Foundation, is a Member of:

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