Parents told to monitor children for drug abuse
Parents have been told to monitor the behavior patterns of their adolescent children to prevent them from falling into drug abuse patterns.
The Ministry of Health conveyed this message when it observed the United Nations International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking on Sunday. This year’s theme conveyed a message of hope. This is that drug use disorders are preventable and treatable.
The UN General Assembly decided to observe June 26 as the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking as an expression of its determination to strengthen action and cooperation to achieve the goal of an international society free of drug abuse.
This resolution recommended further action with regard to the report and conclusions of the 1987 international conference on drug abuse and illicit trafficking.
An official from the National Center for Media and Health Promotion at the Ministry of Health said parents have a greater role to play in the prevention of drug abuse.
“They should keep track of their children’s movements and they also should know who their children’s friends are,” he said, pointing out that most of the bad habits learned by children are from their friends.
The Ministry of Health has 22 hospitals for mental health and hope complexes scattered across the Kingdom’s regions and governorates and 100 more clinics are available for mental health in general hospitals and specialized facilities. He explained that there are different types of drugs depending on how they are classified. Some of them are classified as per their impact, while others are defined in terms of production or color, in addition to another classification that is based on addiction, whether it is physical or psychological.
Accordingly, there are many types of drugs varying in degrees of effect on the nervous system. They include hashish and marijuana, antipsychotic drugs, stimulant drugs such as cocaine, hallucinogens, such as LSD, inhalants, such as glue, and medical painkillers and sedatives, such as morphine.
Drug abuse has become one of the most critical problems afflicting countries worldwide.
Due to the major impact of drug abuse on the health, social, economic and security domains, all countries have diligently sought to fight such a problem, which has no longer been confined to a definite type of drug, nor has it been related to a certain country or social segment. In addition, new and numerous compounds have appeared to have obviously bad effects on the brain and the nervous system.
Addiction is the result of continuously and heavily using narcotic substances.
After the body develops drug tolerance, it craves for more doses of such drugs to achieve the same effects previously experienced.
With such constantly increasing doses in a short period, both body and mind become so affected that the addict is no longer able to perform his daily duties without such drugs.
If an addict attempts to stop drug abuse, many dangerous physical and psychological symptoms will instantly appear. In such a case, the addict suffers from what is called “withdrawal symptoms,” which may lead either to his death or to continuing addiction to alcohol, drugs, psychotropic drugs or sedative-hypnotics drugs.
Signs of addiction include a sudden change in lifestyle and frequent absence from work or school, significant downgrade in school and deterioration of performance at work, absence from home for long periods, especially at night, secretiveness, extreme mood changes, weight loss or gain, changes in social groups, new and unusual friends, a tendency to want to be alone, spending money impulsively and constantly demanding more, becoming angry over trivial reasons and shunning responsibility.
Side effects of drug addiction include change in personality, low job performance, loss of judgment, injury to the immune system, such as the incidence of sexually transmitted diseases, viral diseases, such as chronic viral hepatitis, and hormonal disorders, such as infertility and its impact on the process of fertilization.
Reasons for addiction include lack of awareness regarding the dangers of drug abuse, poor religious commitment and inappropriate social upbringing, broken homes, poverty, ignorance and illiteracy, extraordinary wealth, parental negligence toward children, lack of dialogue among family members, bad companionship and unemployment.