WHAT IS DRUGS?
Drus is a medicine or other substance which has a physiological effect when ingested or otherwise introduced into the body.
Mental health means different things to different people. You may think of control, happiness, contentment, order – but good mental health is usually a sign of a positive way of life. Mental ill health is the opposite of this – it causes problems and creates barriers to being happy.
It affects young, old, professionals, housewives, rich and poor.
Its a very serious calamity which can be considered as the modern plague.
WHY PEOPLE TAKE DRUGS
Some people are more drawn to risk taking than others. They may use drugs to fit in with their social group or to help them cope, for a sense of release or individual transformation, or for the thrill.
Some people try drugs for the first time as an experiment, because they are curious or because friends are doing it. They want to try it to see how it affects them and talk about their experiences with their friends afterwards.
Gender and age
The age you are when you first try drugs can influence how you will go on to use them. For example, the younger you are when you start drinking alcohol, the more likely you are to try hard drugs later on.
Young men are more likely to experiment with drugs than women. However, heavy drug use can cause more damage to young women.
Hedonism (the ‘buzz’)
This is a major factor, as many people take recreational drugs for the ‘buzz’ or ‘thrill’. They make a deliberate choice to pursue this ‘high’. Nowadays, social media influencers can also entice users to start doing drugs to replicate that ‘cool’ lifestyle.
There are two schools of thought on the influence of your friends on your drug use. One is that the group can pressure you into taking drugs. Another is that people may choose to hang out with people who are into the same things as they are.
The easier it is to get drugs, the more likely you are to use them. This will also influence the type of drugs you use. Drug dealers are business people. They will ensure that they study the suburb or town they’re in and reach out to their clients, even if it means delivering to them.
Family, social and environmental factors
People who live in a ‘deprived’ state, where the risk factors are high and the protective factors low, have a higher risk of using drugs. In terms of family, the important factor is how happy and stable your family life is, rather than whether you have two parents or not.
Often if the child sees both parents involved in drugs, they go against that habit and ensure that they don’t take the drugs.
For a purpose
Some people use drugs to lose weight or to help them concentrate. Others may self-diagnose problems and use drugs to self-medicate.
Surprisingly, muslims will ensure that they won’t eat pork, but will intake alcohol. Both are equally haraam.
How does it start?
It starts from when an unusual opportunity arises…
friends are doing it, so to be cool and not be the odd one out, the line will be crossed.
Whether alcohol or party drugs, dagga and alcohol goes hand in hand, once taken, it opens the door to a new adventure which can only lead to doom.
Shockingly, kids from as young as 12 years old are exposed to such opportunities.
The intake of these haraam things then becomes a norm during events, sport outings, special days, holidays, and it escalates to monthly, weekly, or whenever the opportunity arises. Addiction kicks in when the person starts looking forward to the next fix.
Drugs that are psychoactive, such as cannabis, alcohol, ecstasy and heroin, have the ability to affect your mood. They can arouse certain emotions or dampen down others.
Drugs interfere with the chemicals in your brain. This affects the messages those chemicals are trying to send.
The short-term effects may well be something the drug taker enjoy ,but Drugs can have a longer-lasting impact on his mental health.
All psychoactive drugs may cause mental health problems while you are taking them and as you clear the drug from your body. These can include anxiety, mood swings, depression, sleep problems and psychosis
However, very popular drug is called the Nyapo, which attacks the physical body and makes the body depend on it.
Nyaope is a lighter form of Heroin, there is pure heroin also available.
Once person is hooked onto the major drugs, it is very difficult to get him off, however, it is all about how much he’s willing to go off it. They live in denial that they’re addicted.
How to detect drug use?
It can be hard to tell the difference between signs of drug use and normal teenage changes such as being moody, sleeping late, changing friends. As a parent you will know your own teenager and notice changes in their behaviour.
Some of these may indicate drug use:
- Sudden changes in mood
- Losing interest in things they used to enjoy
- Money going missing
- Aggressive or irritable behaviour
- Being secretive
- Finding unusual objects, such as powders, tablets, scorched tinfoil, cigarette papers
- Burns on clothes
There is no sure way to prevent your child using drugs but you can decrease the chances of it happening if you:
- MOST IMPORTANTLY- Ensure that you’re not in DENIAL. It does not make you a failure as a parent if your child gets involved in drugs, but it makes you a failure of you don’t detect it due to your own delusion that this cannot happen to your child, likely because he is in a good home and you are so and so important person. Drugs is a plague which can hit ANYONE….be constantly aware of it!
Most times, its detected when the person is so deep into the addiction.
- If there’s behavioral changes as i mentioned, become suspicious and investigate.
- Maintain good communication with your child. Make sure they know they can talk to you if they have any concerns or issues.
- Be interested in their activities and know who their friends are. Help with homework and give them lifts to and from sports and other activities.
- Have open discussions with your child from a young age about drug use: what they would do if offered drugs, explore examples, positives and negatives of use.
- Encourage them not to drink or smoke. Ensure they understand the seriousness of these haram acts.
- Make sure you don’t drink alcohol. The best way to influence their behaviour is by example.
- Inform yourself about drugs.
- Praise and encourage healthy behaviour.
- Have positive expectations for your children.
- Set clear boundaries in your home.
What should I do if my child is using cannabis?
Don’t panic and try not to overreact. A hostile confrontation won’t help. Get the facts about drugs so you can begin to talk with your child about them. Tell them what you have learned. Be open with your child about how you feel about their drug use. Try to keep the lines of communication open – better to know than not!
Here are some approaches to try:
- Weigh up the situation.
- Focus on the positive things about them and the potential they have. Explain how drugs can disrupt their dreams and hopes for their future.
- Point out that cannabis is illegal and what might happen if they get caught. Discuss the risks and possible effects on their health or school work.
- Keep on eye on what they’re doing and who their friends are. Get interested in things they enjoy.
- If they got the drug at school, tell the principal.
Try to agree a plan for the future that will help them to not use again. This might involve:
- spending time differently
- avoiding certain places
- learning to be more assertive in certain situations
- seeking counselling if they need it. We have muslim organizations who assist in rehabilitation of addicts.
- There are also support groups which has much experience in assisting the addict or the loved ones around him.
The behaviour changes can be noticed in:
their sleep patterns, times of sleep and waking up
either eating little or eating too much
being snappy when asked questions or whereabouts
a new and strange group of friends
a new hangout place
How to home test
Test kit from dischem, 6 types and 12 types, of about R150. Person needs to urine under supervision to ensure they dont mix water in it to dilute it.
Guidelines for Parents
- Pre emptive and proactive in the childrens lives
- Communication is key,
- Spend quality time with the kids
- Dont have expectations from teachers and molanas to takes responsibility for your childs upbringing
- Educate yourself regarding issues affecting your child
- Engage your child in deeni activities
- Be kind and compassionate
- If you sense something is not right, get involved, dont be in denial
- Ensure child get good exposure to his spritual life by reading his salaah
Prevention is better than cure the only way to fight this plague is to educate everyone of the dangers of drugs.
We must pray that Allah keeps us all away from this musibaat.