Drug addiction is a term with which every youth is familiar. Drug addiction has already assumed a dreadful and notorious reputation, but the allure of this addiction is so much ingrained in the mind-set of the younger generation that they fail to understand or realize the harm which these drugs are causing to their body. This addiction is no less than a termite which eats away the wood to an extent that it becomes a powder, with not a slightest sign of it’s not being strong and healthy till the wood is completely destroyed.
The question arises that how do children acquire this devastating and pernicious habit. There are many parents who drink and make merry in front of their children. It is now become a part of daily life that not only the fathers, but the mothers also are equal partners in sharing drinks and smoking in front of the children, in their formative years.
I once personally saw both parents drunk in a party, which they were hosting. The maid, carrying hardly a one year old child crying loudly, entered the room. The mother took the baby and the maid went away. The mother poured about 1/4th glass of some alcohol and made the child drink it. The child stopped crying and every one, including the guests, congratulated the mother! One can infer that this child, when grown up, will be addicted to drugs, alcohol and other such malicious and malevolent things. Thus it is the home, where the child gets his first lesson in ‘enjoying’ an addictive. Agreed that such incidents may be rare, but one cannot completely ignore or rule them out.
It is mainly the home which impacts the child. Nowadays drinking and smoking is not only a part of any party, but has become a routine in many households. The children, especially the adolescents, who already dream of becoming handsome and popular among friends, fall an easy prey to such activities easily.
The children these days even become prone to such temptations at school level. Peer pressure is so strong that the child fears that he will be singled out, so he falls into the trap. Here too, the role of the parents is important. They must keep their eyes and ears open. Any change in the child’s behaviour must not be ignored. We have to see that the child is in the company of friends who are studious and coming from god fearing families. If at any time the parent is informed that the child is missing classes or his performance in the class is deteriorating, the parent must take a serious note of this. Some parents very, confidently state, ‘my child cannot do this’ or ‘in our family no one has any addiction.’ Just remember that drugs are easily available to the children. I have noticed that just outside the gate of many schools there is an innocuous looking shop, selling tea and snacks, but where harmful drugs are easily available. While working in the Education Department, I got some such shops removed with the help of Police Officers.
Teach the children to be God-fearing. Do not allow the kids to spend a night in a friend’s house, unless you ensure that no one in that family can have an adverse effect on the child’s mind. When some scenes are shown on TV or in Movies, take advantage of the situation and explain the harmful effects of addiction to the children.
There are many sensible parents who abstain from drinks and other such harmful addictives to convey an unambiguous message to the children to stay away from it. Such positive actions on the part of the parents equips the children to make sensible decisions in life when they grow up. If your child confesses that he/she was forced to take a drug by a friend, don’t just put it off by saying that, ‘don’t do it again’, but have a heart to heart talk with your child so that in future he/she has the strength to say a firm ‘no’ to it.
I end this article on a positive note that let tomorrow bring a new sunshine in your mind, and take you on the path of health, happiness and harmony. Remember the words of a famous author, Kurt Coba, “Drugs are a waste of time. They destroy your memory and your self-respect and everything that goes along with your self-esteem.”
Usha Menon, a 77-years-old retired educationist, who has four sweet, adorable grandchildren. Last year she wrote a book,”Reverse Gear.” This book is a sort of analogy between her professional and personal life, depicting the travails, ups and downs faced by an average working woman. As a retired person, She is leading a contented life with a loving husband, devoted son, daughter-in-law and two grand daughters. Her doting daughter, son-in-law, and two grand sons, who are very affectionate, look after her and her husband. She is grateful to God that He has, in His grace, given her an opportunity to live a life of peaceful contentment.