Substance abuse is a menace that is increasingly prevalent among youths and has now found its ways to teenagers. Today, college students can be found in corners of streets abusing one form of drug or the other. The worst part is that it is soon turning a “culture” and a “lifestyle” in society. Gone are the days were the few teenagers who indulged in drug abuse will hide to carry out the act. Nowadays, students can be seen partying and snapping pictures in public smoking weed.
If nothing is done, things would only get worse in future. However, before this menace can be properly addressed, it is very important that it is tackled from the grassroots. Before trying to solve the problem of drug abuse among teenagers, there are some important questions we need to ask ourselves. Some of these questions are:
- Why are teenagers embracing drug abuse as a lifestyle?
- What are the possible reasons why teenagers indulge in drug abuse?
- Who needs to get involved in addressing this menace?
A general answer to these questions has to do with the values the society promotes today. And then, who makes up the society? That would be me, you, the market seller, food vendor, community leader and other stakeholders. In the past, a child in the community was seen as “everybody’s child” but that is not the case any longer.
Today, a child can behave anyhow on the street; walk up to a store, even when underage, and buy cigarette or alcohol and no one cares to ask any question. From the smallest unit- the family- some children lack emotional support and feel so empty that they have to rely on some form of drugs to keep sane.
When a child believes that they can find solace in a bottle of syrup to escape emotional hurt, drug abuse becomes the order of the day. Worse still, when they get a temporary “solution” or “good feeling” from drug abuse, they soon become addicts and share their story to encourage others in other situation to join them.
What are the possible ways to curb drug abuse among teenagers?
- Sensitization/awareness of the effects of drug abuse on the physical, psychological and mental health of a being.
- Proper grooming of children from the home.
- Emotional support to children.
- Limiting the negative contents (like music videos) that promote drug abuse as a normal way of life.
With these measures, substance abuse can greatly be reduced at the grassroots level among teenagers.