Substance abuse, a huge concern
Substance abuse or drug abuse is a threatening social problem of school-going and adolescent’s age groups. It is periodic or chronic intoxication by repeated intake of habit forming agents. It is persistent or sporadic use of drugs or any substance inconsistent with or unrelated to acceptable medical and social patterns within given culture.
Agents of substance
The abused agents are mainly tobacco, alcohol, sleeping pills, tranquilizers, mood elevators, stimulants, opiates, LSD, cocaine, heroin and cannabis (bhang, ganja, charas).
Causes behind the substance abuse
The children with these behavioural disorders are having frustration, emotional conflicts and disturbed family and school relationship. They are victims of gang activities, wrong adventure, poor parental guidance and lacy of recreation and education. They may involve in various antisocial activities like stealing, shoplifting and even begging. The substance abuse is commonly found in schools where limited parental control is exercised.
Prevention is must
Prevention of adequate facilities for recreation and entertainment, especially in the hostels. Proper channelization of energies of the adolescents into constructive activities, inculcation of the dangers of drug abuse among students, their teachers and family members, provision of mental health program and periodical psychiatric guidance facilities in schools , strict implementation of drugs control measures.
The ill effects of substance abuse should be informed to the public through individual or group health education or by mass media communication to create public awareness. Parents, teachers and family members are also responsible to provide emotional support to the older children to prevent frustration, conflict, confusion and mental tension. They should identify the addicts and arrange for de-addiction, wherever necessary. The addicted children need psychotherapy, de-addiction services and rehabilitation.
(The author is an under graduate nursing student at Kashmir institute of medical sciences and technology)