The menace of drug abuse in the younger generation has been rising all over the world and India is no exception. Addiction to drugs and alcohol not only affect the individuals involved but also disrupts the family and society. Addictions seem to have affected all classes of society, and there are no age barriers either. The worst affected are the adolescents. They use drugs for many reasons: Peer pressure, academic failure, ignorance of the consequences, curiosity and fun, easy availability of the drugs, stress, lack of communication with parents, low self-esteem, free money, Depression- the list is endless.
The results of a study done by National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre and the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, sites that alcohol, tobacco and inhalants are common initial substances of abuse and have been described as ‘gateway substances’. These substances are easily available to the children, according to the revelations in the research and are a reason for concern.
Intervention and Prevention
Drug prevention education is the best weapon to combat the menace of drugs. By teaching school children drug resistance and avoidance skills, they can be shielded against dangerous and life-changing drugs. Life skills based drug prevention education is a holistic approach for the development of values, skills and knowledge, which assists young people to protect themselves and others in a range of risk situations. This includes skills for building self-esteem, setting realistic goals, coping with anxiety, resisting pressures, communicating effectively, making decisions, managing conflict and dealing assertively with social situations in which drugs may be offered.
In this context, project Venda empowers the teenagers to say ‘NO’ to substance abuse and help to rehabilitate addicted and affected teenagers. Project Venda also aims at equipping various stake holders with information, skill and knowledge to broach and discuss the topic of drugs with children and young adults. These Partnerships with parents and communities would indeed help to integrate consistent and relevant messages into the home and society, thus improving the student health of mind and body.