What are drugs?
They are natural synthetic chemical substances which can affect your body, it’s processes, your behavior and feeling.
Some drugs have medical purposes
They can be used legally for:
- Correcting imbalances in the body chemistry
- Fighting or protecting the body against diseases
- Pain relief
But many drugs are illegal and extremely dangerous. Legal drugs such as alcohol and prescription medications can also be dangerous if misused. Even in small amounts drugs can create big problems and it’s not always possible to predict how a drug will affect the user’s life.
Damage to health
Every year, thousands of people are treated for drug related injuries, mental and physical illnesses while thousands more die.
Risks associated with drugs:
Trouble with the law
Being convicted of a drug related offence can seriously disrupt a person’s life.
Drug use can be an expensive habit whether the money goes for cigarettes or cocaine. Some users spend all the money they have just to buy more drugs.
Instead of trying to work out their problems, some people try to run from their problems by using drugs. This usually makes the problems worse and create new ones.
Drug Users Often End Up With Serious Problems Like:
- Drug users can lose resistance to diseases and it can prove harmful to their health. Intravenous drug users may be exposed to AIDS and other serious diseases.
- Drugs can impair your driving ability and make you less concerned about personal safety.
- When you need more and more of a drug to get the same effect, the risk and overdose of a drug can kill.
- The continued use of certain drugs can lead to physical and or psycological dependence.
- Stealing is often the only way to support an expensive habit.
- An NDLEA record can follow you through life, eliminate certain career choices, etc.
- Possession of illegal drugs is punishable by prison sentence.
- Certain drugs can trigger violence against others.
- Once you’re hooked, drugs become more important than anything else, including friendship and family.
Why some people turn to drugs:
- Some people think experimenting with drugs is harmless. It’s not. Anytime you use drugs you raise your risk of physical injuries. And there’s no telling how soon you could become addicted.
- In many cases, people start using drugs because of their friends who does. But being part of a crowd that uses drugs means that you’re looking for trouble
- Trying to escape feelings of loneliness but using drugs cuts you off from other people. The drug user ends up feeling more isolated than before.
- There are 5 basic kinds of drugs:
Signs of a drug addict are:
- Possession of the drug itself, whether peculiar plants, seeds or powdery substances
- Possession of drugs related paraphernalia like pipes, rolling papers, syringes, lighters, matches, bottle openers,ash tray and decongestant bottles.
- Unusual use of perfumes, air fresheners, incense, mosquito coils, insecticides, chewing gum, licking of sweets all as cover-ups to suppress smell of drugs.
- Downward performance in work or school.
- Deviant behavior e.g stealing, lying, fighting and trouble with authorities.
- Deterioration in health.
- Memory lapses, short attention span, difficulties in concentration.
- Identification with drug culture, music, slogans or clothing.
Coping skills for youths:
You people, adolescents and young adults have long ago been identified as the high risk group prone to substance abuse. Any preventive drug education targeted at this group is not complete without highlighting the need for them to develop coping skills to withstand any negative pressure to use drugs.
Coping skills are abilities required to resist illicit drug use or abstain from drug abuse. These skills may include decision making skills, interpersonal relation skills, communication skills, refusal skills, assertive skills and so on. Let’s look at some of them…
- Arm yourself with information about drugs and drug abuse.
- Be assertive while saying “No”.
- Change the subject.
- Suggest alternative activities.
- Ignore the person.
- Simply walk away.
- Be involved in hobbies or positive pastimes.
- Get involved in religious activities.
- Avoid situations or gatherings where drugs are abused.
- Avoid people who use drugs.
- Build your self esteem. Know your positive qualities and depend on these when under stress.
- Obey rules and regulations in school,home or work places.
- When in problem,confide in your parents, teacher, religious leaders, trusted friend, e.t.c…