Bringing Change

Saying ‘No to drugs’ is the biggest gift you can give to yourself

Anjana Deepak
Saying ‘No to drugs’ is the biggest gift you can give to yourself

Usage of drugs can ruin not only the person, but their family, friends and all those who are closely associated with them. Saying ‘No to drugs’ is the biggest gift you can give to yourself.

Being a kid is hard. All of us have been through this stage at some point. We all know that these are our formative years of growing up and becoming responsible not only to ourselves but to our families and to the country. How we are brought up and the choices we make will directly impact what kind of people we’ll turn out to be. We also have a responsibility to set examples for the future generation.

An age where we are supposed to learn and play, be carefree and careless are an era gone by. With the change of time there are dangers lurking that we need to be educated on. Don’t fret too much, with the right guidance from our teachers and parents the right choices can be made. Never give in to peer pressure. Just because someone else or your best friend is doing something doesn’t make it right. Being aware of what is going on around us will help us better in making the right choices where we can stay out of harm’s way and also maybe help others who might be susceptible to the danger.

In recent times, you might have heard about the rising drug abuse among kids . It’s true. The dreaded day has come when kids as young as 7 years are being handed out drugs in the form of candies. Kids being unsuspecting to what is given, soon find they are a victim of substance abuse. Gone are the days when parents found the need to protect their young from topics such as these. But today there is a growing need for parents as well as institutions to educate the kids on substance abuse.

What is substance abuse?

Anything that alters the psychological, physical or emotional state of a person due to the consumption of a substance is called substance abuse. Drugs are not only marijuana or hashish. It is also alcohol, tobacco and over the counter drugs (medicines). Anything that can get you addicted (the feeling where you can’t do without it) is called a drug.

A new drug that is rampant in schools is called the ‘Strawberry Quick’. It is in the form of pop rocks. It is coloured methamphetamine or coloured crystal meth.

How does it start?

Most cases of drug abuse start due to peer pressure or stress. When a friend gives you a cigarette or a joint (marijuana) and asks you to try it, even though you know it’s not good for you or is the wrong thing to do, you still go ahead with it because you feel that you will not be considered cool if you don’t try it. Or what about when you hang out with your friends and a bottle of alcohol appears and you are made to drink it, you feel you’ll have to or else you won’t be a part of the group.

Stress is another huge reason why kids take to drugs. Exam pressure being the biggest. What we need to realise is that just for the sake of a moment’s euphoria that we feel at the time of taking drugs, we could very well be choosing a path to our own destruction.

At present, schools are being targeted as a market where drugs are being sold. Drug peddlers peddle it to kids who have access to money, who in-turn peddle it to their friends to earn money to keep their habit alive.

A new drug that is rampant in schools is called the ‘Strawberry Quick’. It is in the form of pop rocks. It is coloured methamphetamine or coloured crystal meth. It is a highly addictive drug used to target children and has the scent of strawberries as well. This is also being sold in different flavours such as chocolate, orange, cola, cherry, grape, etc. This drug is an extremely addictive stimulant.

Prevention is always better than a cure

Parents and schools are now being warned to discuss this with their kids so they are aware of the drug in circulation. Kids are cautioned not to accept any form of candy from strangers or even from friends who might pass it on without being aware of what it is. It is unfair for a school to solely be held responsible for this drug circulated in school yards, as it is not possible for them to keep an eye on every inch of the school with thousands of children. It is the duty of the parent to take an active part in the well-being of the child by telling them about the drug and the effects that it will have on them if taken.

Schools are holding special assemblies and seminars to make students aware. Parents and schools/ colleges should talk about what it will do to their brain development and life and that an overdose could lead to loss of life. If a teacher or parent see that a child’s behaviour is odd, or there is a lack of interest in activities that once was loved, or if there has been changes in the circle of friends that the child is in or starts to have trouble in school, these are all warning signs that scream that there might be some form of substance abuse present.

Counselling must also be a part of the curriculum for schools wherein they address issues that children face.

Irrespective of what people think of us we all have a choice to say ‘NO’ to what we feel is not right. If kids face force in any form from people known or unknown, they should be able to speak to their parents so that they can be guided correctly. Parents and schools in turn must be open to discussing these issues and must not be in denial.

Being cool is to be able to sometimes say ‘NO’ and also helping others say ‘No’. It is absolutely not necessary to be a part of a gang or group that is into substance abuse. Its way healthier and better to make choices that will help us all lead an honest and a fruitful life. Not only are we doing a favour to ourselves but also to the society that we live in. “SAY NO TO DRUGS” they don’t control our lives.

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