Drug / Alcohol Addiction
Why do adolescents take to drugs ? Let us explore . To begin with , the children do not get attention, care and love they deserve. In an increasingly complex world, financial stability alone cannot do justice to our children. Personal care and attention gives mental peace and security to children. Parents complain of not having enough time for their children becausethey themselves are overburdened with their own problems. Computer games, toys are largely substituted for parental love and affection, which does not serve the purpose.
What is a drug?
A drug is a chemical substance that changes the way our body works. Drug may or may not have medical use . Their usage may or may not be legal. When drugs are used to cure an illness, prevent a disease or improve the health condition, it is termed ' drug use.' drugs prescribed by a doctor include antibiotics, tranquilizers and pain relievers.
What are the effects of drugs?
Drugs alter moods, body functions , understanding and awareness by acting on the central nervous system and other parts of the body. Depending upon the drug taken, a person might feel stimulated, depressed or euphoric. The central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) controls the way we function and think.
|One can try drugs just once and then stop.
||Almost all the drug addicts start by trying just once.
|Most of the addicts get their first drug from a peddler or a pusher.
||Most of the addicts get their first drug from a friend or an associate in the form of a favour.
|Drugs increase creativity.
||Drug addicts lose clarity of perception and thinking and coherence in action.
|Will power can alone help a drug addict to stop taking drugs
||Addiction becomes a disease which requires treatment on a scientific basis
|Drugs sharpen thinking , lead to grater concentration and increase sexual pleasure
||Drugs may remove inhibitions but temporarily, ultimately resulting in a steep fall in normal functioning.
Adolescents generally take to drugs due to the following factors:
- Persuasion by schoolmates and friends (Peer pressure)
- Temptation of teenagers to look and behave like adults (Symbol of adulthood).
- Refusal to accept any kind or authority (Rebellion)
- Mere curiosity to experience how it feels.
- Failure in entrance exams.
- Frustration due to failure in love affairs.
- There are many reasons responsible for the spread of these evils in our society .
What are the different signs that indicate the use of drugs by growing children ?
- Broken homes.
- Parents are very busy and do not realise the importance of personal attention to children especially during adolescence.
- Quarrels between parents.
- In some cases ignorance regarding the evil effects of drugs or the withdrawal symptoms are mainly responsible.
Keep your eyes and ears open for:
- Poor attendance at school/college.
- Decline in academic performance.
- Loss of interest in games or extracurricular activities.
- Sudden, unexplained temper tantrums.
- Presence of burnt foils, cardboard/thick paper strips, powders in the classroom.
What should be done if our child is on drugs?
- Reddening of eyes.
- Puffiness under the eyes.
- Slurring of speech.
- Unsteady gait.
- Loss of appetite.
- Fresh/numerous injection sites.
- Peculiar odour from breath and clothing.
- Loss of weight.
- Loss of interest in dress, personal appearance.
- Don't jump to conclusions. Remember adolescence is a time of change. Don't mistake any one of its changes (e.g. uncommunicative behaviour) as a sign of drug abuse.
- If you are sure then, don't panic or over react.
- Keep all lines of communication open. And if the need arise talk to his friends or teachers for help.
- Be supportive: It is a serious problem. Don't shun your child or make him feel guilty.
- Sarcastic (Don't think, I am not aware of your doings.)
- Accusatory (You are lying to me )
- Stigmatizing ( You are a terrible person)
- Sympathy and seeking ( Don't you see how much you are hurting me.)
- Seeking professional help is a healthy sign. It means that you want to set things right. Half the battle is won.
- Aftercare- look out for all signs of relapse