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GK Campaign Against Drug Abuse | The road from evidence to prevention

What can help us is more and more scientific and rational awareness
03:30 AM Jun 28, 2024 IST | Guest Contributor
gk campaign against drug abuse   the road from evidence to prevention

We see banners, posters on and off where we highlight that we should quit drugs.


The language we use to discuss drug and alcohol abuse significantly impacts how youth perceive and respond to these issues. Phrases like "quit drugs" are common, yet they often fail to convey the seriousness and complexity of substance abuse.


Instead of these phrases, using precise scientific terminology not only enhances understanding but also promotes a more informed and proactive approach to prevention and recovery.


Phrases like these also increase the stigma associated as it attaches a label of “it’s bad” which reflects like moral failing instead of an illness.


Substance use disorders is a chronic illness which makes it more complex than just using drugs.


Information regarding how drugs alter brain chemistry by affecting neurotransmitters. It can affect the structure and functions of areas impacting judgement, decision making, learning and memory.


Equipped with scientific information, it helps youth to make more informed choices about health and drugs.


Substance use in adolescence can also be a byproduct of inadequate life skills. Encouraging critical thinking and problem solving enables young people to find constructive solutions to challenges and life struggles without choosing substance use as a coping mechanism. Self esteem and self contentment is a life skill that can counter peer pressure in adolescents.

Understanding the vulnerabilities of your child. Often we create an imaginary bubble that nothing can be wrong with our kid, we do everything for him/her. Seeing it from the perspective of parenting only makes it difficult to see and understand the vulnerabilities of an adolescent. If the vulnerabilities are addressed before time , we may be able to stop the adolescent from resorting to substance use.

Teaching your child adequate stress management skills. “What’s there to stress about? , It’s nothing!, Don’t worry about exams” - all these statements aren’t going to help your child deal with stress. Stress is real and different for everyone. Stress handling and de-stressing skills can enhance the confidence of an adolescent and help him to make a more rational choice over an impulsive act of resorting to substance use.

Recreational activities. Sports, physical exercises, involvement in fine arts- all these things may look secondary or may look Extra-Curricular but to prevent substance use, being involved in such activities as a routine and learning as skills can provide healthy channelisation of energy to kids and adolescents.

The concept of IMPULSIVE BRAIN using scientific background can bring insights in children and adolescents about their choices. Statements like “you don’t know, we know” doesn’t really help adolescents in understanding why we are the way we are, why can’t we control, why can’t we think and act.

When the brain is developing, a NO looks like a YES!

We already have enough evidence to say WE ARE GOING THROUGH AN EPIDEMIC, but what can help us is more and more scientific and rational awareness.

 Dr Yasir Hassan Rather, Incharge De-Addiction Center- SMHS and Professor in GMC, Srinagar.