Citizens' Mail | Daily News


Citizens' Mail

Choose to say no!

I am writing with regard to the increasingly acute problem of drug abuse among teenagers in Sri Lanka. That the number of young drug abusers continues to climb in the territory is terribly worrying. Not only there are more teenagers becoming addicted to drugs being abused, and it is now even easier for teenagers to get hold of drugs. Society, including young people themselves needs to urgently address this challenge, and create a better future for young people.

First and foremost, with a sizable amount of resources of disposal, the government should allocate more of its resources to deal with the issue. Special training should be given to social workers as well as teachers in order to equip them with sufficient knowledge about drugs and drug abuse and to up-skill these professionals to enable them to better deal with teenage drug abusers. Through training, the social workers and teachers would be aware of the latest development in the field of drug abuse such as the drugs currently being used and the trends in cross-border drug dealing. Without such knowledge, social workers and teachers cannot solve the problem.

At the same time, the schools, with the aid of social workers, ought to promote the anti-drug awareness. Talks and seminars should be held to teach a youngster about the effects of drug abuse, such as the damage to their kidneys, heart and brain. Students should also be warned not to become involved in drug-related crimes, for example selling drugs, as they will end up with criminal records which will not be able to be erased. Without doubt, the anti-drug message in school must be clear and strong enough to prevent a student from experimenting with drugs.

Family members, especially parents have to show concern for their children and be aware of any signs of them using drugs. Although these three parties, the government, schools, and family members have obligations to solve the problem of drug abuse. Teenagers, themselves have a strong responsibility to say “no” to drugs and lead drug-free lives. Drug addiction will not only damage their health but also affect the kind of job they can get and the family life they can enjoy in the future.

Moreover, teenagers have a responsibility to their peer. These peers are their friends, and out of concern for the health and future happiness of their friends, they not only should distance themselves from drugs but also help their peers to do the same.

Ivan Peries

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