You have to know to say no
IN THE light of the revelation of Oishi, reportedly a drug-addict teen involved in the murder of her parents, drug resistant education should be introduced at school. We can no longer deny that an alarmingly large segment of the young population get lured by dope or drugs out of curiosity, due to peer pressure, for celebrating freedom and/or trying to be part of the ‘cool club’. Tensions in the family or difficulty in coping at school are also potential factors for getting drawn to drugs.
The topic of drugs, like physical intercourse or birth control, is a hush-hush. In our society, most parents or guardians would not be okay to entertain drug or dope related questions stemming out of curiosity from pre-teens and teenagers. In general, children may feel intimidated that they would be yelled at, grounded or threatened by their guardians. In many cases, parents would be the last ones that children would feel free to approach. As a result, young adolescents develop an attraction for the forbidden. If drugs become a freely discussed topic in school and home, several youngsters will pause to think hard before jumping on to the bandwagon.
Regular workshops on DRE could be run once or twice a month for children and guardians by experts on the topic. The sessions should be interactive rather than a monotonous, didactic lecture. To say NO, individuals need to KNOW. In separate sessions for students only, they could be encouraged to come forward to share their or their friends’ experiences related to drugs. Schools should also recruit counsellors specialised in child psychology who can be approached by students and also have one-on-one sessions with them.
The first time young individuals try out a drug, they don’t intend to become addicted and ruin their lives but with frequent abuse, they become hooked to it. In the beginning, it is difficult to sense or determine if someone is using drugs. Hence it is imperative that parents should also have knowledge to trace changes in behaviour of adolescents, like a loss of appetite, moodiness, staying aloof or indoors, demand for an unreasonable amount of pocket money, staying up late. Free communication and an amicable relationship between children and guardians would aid in curbing drug related problems.
If guardians discover their children abusing drugs, they should definitely impose control but rather than shunning and intimidating them, they should try to work together for cure before it is too late. Being grief stricken and losing hope, stigmatising the children or beating them up would definitely not solve this growing, deadly social problem.
A concerned teen
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