In recent times a large percentage of teenagers get involved in substance abuse, they smoke tobacco, marijuana, drink alcohol, sniff and inject themselves with drugs and other substances all in the bid to get high.
The Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency NDLEA in one of its report in 2013, stated that a high number of secondary school students have one time or another in their life taken substances in order to make them high.
Substance abuse otherwise known as drug abuse is being defined by WHO as the harmful or hazardous use of psychoactive substances, including alcohol and illicit drugs.
As parents it is sad to know that a child who you have invested your time, love, finances etc is now a drug addict or gradually becoming one.
This is a serious issue most people have taken for granted. If you visit the psychiatric hospitals, you would see the number of young boys and girls who are there as a result of their involvement in drugs.
It is always advisable for parents to always create time in their busy schedules to discuss and be involved in the lives of their children, by doing so you can freely discuss with them the dangers of getting involved in drugs.
Signs to always look out for:
- Always wanting to be alone
- Continuous demand for money, without explaining what the money is needed for
- Picking and stealing of things in the house
- Always getting agitated
- Low grades in school
- Unkempt looks
- Red eyes
- Dark lips
- Lack of interest in school work and activities
- Weight loss
- Increase in appetite, etc.
What can be done as parents?
If and when you discover your teenager is involved in drugs, first and foremost it is important you seek the help of a doctor or a professional, it is also important you do some research on your own to know exactly what it is you are dealing with.
Explain to your teen, the effects of drugs to the body, and the diseases that can be contacted through the use of these drugs such as AIDS, which can be gotten through the use of shared needles.
Also discuss with your teen, the legal consequences of drug usage.
Lastly and the most important show him or her love, this will be difficult cause you will feel disappointed, but it will go a long way.