Drug Education – An Emerging Concept For Teachers

Children are the symbol of peace and victory, and childhood is a period of innocence. Children growth cannot be estimated from their height, but it requires examining their pattern of behavior and changes in the attitude to judge their development.

Children spent most of their day at home, followed by school and friends respectively. But as child grows, it’s been observed that they spend most of their time outside home with their friends. Whether the friends are reliable or not; whether they are involve in any unpleasant activities or drug addiction, children at their early ages, especially when they are in their teens cannot judge it well. For them, friendship is more precious than any thing else.

As the world is changing, attitudes and behaviors are also altering. Children are adapting every new thing instantaneously, which lure them. They emulate many things instantaneously, without letting others to know it.

It is being observed that parents, as well as teachers are mostly unaware of the bad habits, in which their children are or about to involve. The only person who knows about their unhealthy activities is friends. Out of many bad habits, drug abuse is commonly found among youth around the globe. Drug abuse is initially practiced in the form of glue, Inhalants, cigarette, alcohol, beer, sedatives, syrup having codeine/codine, pain relievers, any drink containing caffeine, etc. Children may later substitute it from cocaine, hashish, marijuana, depressants, steroids, etc. Such habit of drug abusing is commonly practiced in parks or at different places, where it is almost impossible for a teacher or parents to reach.

The question is: why children get into drugs? What are the real causes behind the curtain? Why children adopt such deadly habit? The following genuine reasons were found after an extensive research, which trigger children to use drugs:

Poverty, friend circle, peer pressure, corporal punishment, family violence, child abuse, depression, inferiority, high status, pleasure, financial problems, chatting to strangers, relieve boredom, forget painful memories, advertisement, etc. The reasons are uncountable, so it requires lots of grass root researches to be conducted to find more genuine reasons.

Youth want to look cool and they want others to notice them. They want to perform unusual act to grab others attention as well. Confidence, friendship with others, outspoken, extroversive, party animal, etc are some of the traits found in most of the youth, but when you observe some other traits like fear, anguish, hyper activity, change in sleeping pattern, excessive behavior problem, abusive language, mostly sitting alone in a locked room, alteration in mood, drastic change in study pattern and poor grades, excessive impulsivity, mostly coming late nights from friend circle, change in eating pattern, etc., then you can initiate to look for the real matter.

A teacher must not lose hope and should take the responsibility by taking one bold step of caring their students like their own children. Often youth are neglected at home or they outburst their frustration in the form of using drugs. Without any reason, one may not involve in any form of bad habit. Youth always need someone listening and caring them. Whatever is concealed from the parents could be expressed by them to their teachers, if they really trust you. Two of my former students were involved in drug addiction. I was unaware of their habits until one day, I caught them up. Instead of informing their parents, who would have started beating them, the best possible step I took was to counsel the students. I believe that whatever we want to talk to or to resolve should take place face to face. After five sessions of counseling, I got to know the reasons of their involvement in drug abuse. “A” was addicted to cigarette as his group of friends brain washed his mind that a man should smoke. That emotional black mail turned him to use drugs, and gradually he was addicted to it. “B” started using drugs because he saw his father using it since he was 13. He constantly watched his father’s pattern until one day, his friend introduced to drug addiction. Since that day, he started using drugs occasionally. It is being observed that whenever youngsters trap in problems, they often turn their way to drug addiction for coping up the situation. For most of such cases, youngsters are found to lack decision making skills. Decision making is a key to prevention of drug abuse. Teach students life skills to take right decisions independently..

In a nutshell, arranging seminars and workshops for teachers and social workers are not the solution. The time has come to implement rather than making policies. Counseling is one of the best solutions to solve bad habits in youngsters. It requires lots of skills to create a trust. First of all, create a bond of trust by inviting a child to be your friend. Once they trust you, they can explore and share their live with you and could also listen to your sayings. When you counsel any child, be close to them as warmth and support is the only tool which can lead to get towards the reality. Tell them that you will keep all the information confidential and try to share any realistic stories, if you or your relatives were once involved in drug abuse and how you or they overcome the problem. . I recommend all the teachers to adopt positive attitude in order to explore the reasons behind using drugs. Our quality guidance and support would surely bring changes in many lives. You may also find some stories at http://www.drugfreeworld.org. Teachers and parents can get free teaching material from the world renowned Drug Free World Foundation, USA to promote drug education worldwide.

One more skill a teacher can try is to create a dynamic relation, as the outcomes would be more realistic. For that, a teacher can make small groups among classmates and later, give them some brain storming activity or topic to discuss, such as what are the harmful effects of drug? How can we create a drug free society? You can even arrange an essay competition or poster competition and then display it for spreading this noble message. Appreciating youth and giving them a task of leadership would surely reap better outcomes. Invite their parents to show their children efforts. One technique which a teacher can use is to craft a small card with a tag “DO NOT SMOKE; THIS HOUSE IS SMOKE FREE.” Students can color it and later it can be guided to stick it to their main entrance door. It will surely work. Parents’ can even initiate such steps to aware their youth appreciated that effort. Parent teacher education programs on anti-drug topic really work. If the protector of the children i.e., parents will be involved, the mushroom growth of drug addiction can be halted.

In the same manner, why not to arrange some workshops! Here workshop doesn’t means boring lectures. Instead, try to arrange some game show or activity sessions to make your effort fruitful. Children love participating in activities, so such interactive workshops would be an effective tool as well.

A teacher can also promote drug free school/ college/ university campaign, where a visitor or a teacher should not be allowed to use drugs of any kind at their respective institutions. Such initiatives would encourage youth to initiate such program in their communities as well.

Teach student to engage themselves in healthy extra curricular activities like music, sports, to divert their mind from drugs. Teach them to say no to drug when any one offers them. A teacher can provide students with information on the health risk linked to drug abuse and also give them forum to discuss this issue openly. Ministry of Education should promote Drug Education and should integrate it in science curriculum at the grass root level, in order to develop healthy minds and shaping positive attitude at their early ages.

Remember, drug addicts are not bad, the habit is bad. So try to make your child aware of drug hazards as earlier as possible to create better and healthy citizens and to improve their quality of life.

Munir Moosa Sewani is one of the notorious, prominent and creative names in the field of Education since 8 years. He is a Master Trainer In Special Education, Post Graduate, Teacher Educator and a Teacher. He is a Freelance Writer and Photographer too. He is an author of the famous self-published storybook for children named as “The MORAL STORIES FOR CHILDREN” and has also written Biology course book for Secondary Classes. He has written almost more than 50 articles on social, health, educational and cultural issues, which are internationally recognized, acclaimed and published on most of the famous world wide websites, magazines, newsletters and newspapers. He is also a Social worker, private tutor, career counselor, musician, lyrics writer and have multi- dimensional talents. His future plan is to write dozens of informative books and articles and to work for education and media too.