Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Pampering children can lead to substance abuse

As sign of loving their children, some parents of adolescents often spoil them by giving them loads of money.

 Little do they know that within a few months their household materials would be disappearing almost every day. It is only then that they discover they are no longer parents of bright, well behaved, hard working and confident children. They discover it too late that theirs are now slaves of alcohol and illicit drugs!

Sub Inspector Mmereki Dikinya of Narcotics, Fauna and Flora Investigation Unit at Sir Seretse Khama Airport told attendees of a campaign against alcohol and substance abuse at Gabane kgotla Wednesday that parents should ensure their children do not end up having to be drained of substances.

“It is very expensive to drain out substances from addicts because we do not have the facilities here in Botswana. There is no rehabilitation for addicts; so the rate at which drugs are used in the country is a cause for great concern. Parents please, limit the amounts of money you give to your children,” said Dikinya. He added that many well-off parents have lost house hold goods after their children sold them to buy drugs. They can he said, sell a big television set worth P9000 or more for P500 or less.

He said young people have secret names they give the drugs so that their parent cannot know they are on drugs.

“They call dagga herb or snow, tshitshi, weed or ganja. There is another drug; cocaine, which they call gram or snuff or Vim. Another one whose actual name is heroine, they call it horse, dragon, tiger or brown sugar because it has features of brown sugar. For your information, the law is firm on the use of these drugs. For a first offender, found guilty of being in possession of these drugs one is sentenced to 15 years in prison,” he explained.

Dikinya explained that the drugs are taken by smoking, injection, sniffing. At times they mix the drugs with water or make dough and then bake the mixture. Sometimes they mix expensive medication like ARVs and other tablets to make intoxicating drugs.

Just like other speaker who preceded him, he said young people are also driven into alcohol and drugs by peer pressure, depression, loneliness, frustrations and lack of parental guidance. He said signs that a child is on drugs are that a child will have lots of sleep. Selling of household goods and poor academic performance are the signs of worst scenario.

Sekgabo ‘Stompie’ Wanthata, Ambassador for Youth in Action, the youth group that hosted the event said he had never taken drugs or alcohol because he grew up having dreams, knowing he came into the world for a purpose and he believed in God and trusted Him enough not to temper with the gift he gave him. He said he did not want to be derailed by any poor health caused by taking drugs.

The group’s Coordinator, Ronald Antonio took time to decry the fact that though there are expensive security equipment meant to control goods going into the country through the borders, it bits logic how the quantities and quantities of drugs enter the country. He said the high divorce rate in the country contributes immensely on the use of drugs by young people.

“Children grow up enjoying the love of both parents; staying in suburbs like Phakalane. All of a sudden parents break-up and a child end up having to live in areas like G-West and Old Naledi. It is such an embarrassment for such a child and trying to fit into their new environment may entail trying drugs,” said Antonio.

He added that the lack of recreation centres and rehabilitation centers also contribute because the energetic youth do not have the right place to chill out. He bemoaned the fact that every little fault youth do is punished through imprisonment instead of a rehabilitation center that would instead mold such a child.

For his part Colonel Duke Masilo, who was the Guest Speaker said he disagreed that the lack of entertainment centers can justify the wayward ways of engaging in drug abuse. He said there are places like Churches where people gather together to sing and pray. These places can very much transform the youth. He said constructionsof recreational centers are in the pipeline but could be a long time coming.

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