Children’s drug addiction is a disaster that threatens the future of entire nations. The language of numbers alone may make you astounded, when you know that the number of addicted young children ranges between 7-10 million children. These numbers reveal the extent of the tragedy that our children have fallen into in the Arab world, as well as the size of the economic losses that befall Arab economies as a result of the costs of treatment and rehabilitation for young addicts.
Research shows that the rates of drug addiction in Arab societies among children are 10 times higher than what parents think, and recent research has also shown at the same time that many students are aware that their parents are not aware of their use of these narcotic substances. Hence the importance of taking care of our children and observing their behavior and actions and the changes that occur to them at different age stages.
It is worth mentioning that the problem of addiction of young children is a global catastrophe that has moved to various Arab countries affected by the global village in which we live. After the danger posed to teenage school students, the danger is now affecting young children, especially street children and children working in different professions due to their harsh economic conditions.
How does children’s drug addiction begin?
Our young children fall victim to the art of seducing and advertising many kinds of sweets and posters that contain images of children’s favorite characters.
Many of these stickers and sweets contain narcotics that children under the age of six get accustomed to and infiltrate their weak bodies, which is what doctors discovered in some of these stickers that the child sticks with their attractive pictures on his body, which is nothing but a window for the children’s body to become accustomed to drug addiction.Among the most important types of these drugs, which children and adolescents go for, out of love for experience, are sedative drugs, including: hashish, banjo, voodoo, and Strox. These are the most prevalent drugs among adolescents.
Causes of child addiction
The reasons for the spread of addiction and its penetration in such hideous proportions in our Arab homeland in particular are many and manifold.
1. Family disintegration
Family disintegration inside the home contributes to an increase in the tragedy outside home, especially if care and supervision are absent on children under puberty, leaving them to bad friends, and risking their future for family problems that only result in more victims in the drugs market, due to the multiplicity of divorce cases and separation. between spouses.
2. Homeless children
The increase in the number of street children, or what they are called “homeless children”, (added mud to the ground), and the matter has also become linked to the deterioration of behavior and morals, the frequency of abuse incidents, rape under the influence of drugs, and the exploitation of these children in suspicious operations.
3. Curiosity and exploration
The door of curiosity, exploration and experimentation may be the door that does not have a “lock” later, if children in their first years of life accept drugs, and among the most important types of these drugs that children and adolescents accept out of love for experience are sedative drugs, including: (barbiturates and benzodiazepines) Stimulants such as: (amphetamine, cocaine and methylphenidate), and hallucinogenic substances such as: “L. S. D, and inhaled aromatic substances, analgesics, and medical sedatives, such as: morphine.
Studies have revealed that drug use is not limited to a particular class or a group of society, or linked to a certain economic level, but rather it is a problem that affects our societies as a whole, as it is not limited only to secondary schools in our country, but also in both middle and primary schools.
Although trafficking in these toxins is restricted to adults, the middleman who brings drugs into schools is one of the school’s students.
Signs that your child fell into the trap of addiction
What are the most important signs of drug use in children?
1. Health deterioration
The child’s physical deterioration affects his general health as a result of drug use, which causes several signs of addiction, starting with weakness in the body, memory lapses (forgetting), poor memory for recent events, difficulty in the process of remembering. Fatigue, apathy, lethargy, lack of interest in health, dilated and redness of the eye, signs extending to slurred speech, and lack of coherence in speech.
2. Isolation from family members
The addicted young man is always keen to remain isolated from his family, relatives and those around him, and he is also keen on complete confidentiality, as he does not want to expose himself in front of the family and does not want to leave room for the family to notice the changes that occur to him, hence the isolation appears with different behaviors that he performs such as eating In his room, which he accompanies for a long time, not looking into the eyes of those who talk to him, watching television and other activities that do not require contact with others, these habits may be a result of the depression that the young man suffers from.
3. Lying, exaggerating and evading
The young man cannot justify everything he asks about in a logical way, so he resorts to these methods. A young man may mention to his family that he is sick and suffers from dizziness, headaches and general fatigue to justify the circumstances he is going through. The young man also needs money to buy the drug, so he begins to invent reasons and justifications to get the money, such as that he wants to visit the private clinic, or he wants to buy important parts for his computer, or attach these extra expenses to school requests, and so on.
4. Sleep disturbances
It is noticed that the addicted person sleeps for very long periods or may remain awake for long times as well, and this depends on the type of substances used in addiction, as well as the stage of the problem.
5. Absence from home and running away at night
Some of the withdrawal symptoms of some types of drugs sometimes require taking the dose every hour or even half an hour, and this requires running away from home to go to market with friends to use drugs.
6. Suspicious Communications
It is necessary to communicate with bad friends to get what he wants from the prohibited substances. While the voices of the callers are similar and the names and justifications for calling differ from time to time, it should be noted that the young man may start communicating with girls and harassing them over the phone as a behavior that he acquires from those who come into contact with them from promoters and addicts.
7. Traces on clothes
The appearance of holes as a result of burns that affect clothes while taking drugs such as hashish, and the young man does not take much care of this point and his attention does not focus on his clothes and grooming as he is on drugs and the means of obtaining them, and blood stains may appear on his clothes, especially on the parts that cover the arms as a result of taking injections.
8. Important notes on the addict’s room
The smell of the room in which he sleeps changes, as many drugs require that they be burned and smoke blown from them to obtain their desired effect. The trash can sometimes contain syringes, tin, empty cigarette lighters and cigarette butts, noting that cigarette cotton is often intact and unburned, especially with those who use cannabis, in addition, the addict always locks his room and does not allow his mother or sisters to enter to clean it.
9. Change the language of understanding
The addict begins using terms that offend modesty and taste, which are more prevalent among addicts, reflecting their lack of respect for others, or sexual terms that the addicted young man was not accustomed to previously. As well as slurred speech, as it is one of the well-known symptoms of addiction, particularly alcohol addiction, as well as slow response to questions or observations put to it.
10. Depression and mood swings
The addict fluctuates between fun and laughter sometimes and between continuous silence and crying sometimes for no apparent reason or for reasons that do not require it.
11. Psychotic behaviors
Like hearing him talking to people who don’t even exist, and you may hear him while he is isolated in his room talking to himself. He may start accusing family members of things that cannot happen, such as accusing the mother of putting poison in food to kill him and get rid of him.
12. Physical signs
Red eyes, and the young man may avoid this by acquiring decongestant eye drops in abundance, but sometimes he puts them in his pocket continuously, general emaciation due to lack of food, frequent headaches, dizziness, and sometimes fainting.
The effects of drug addiction in children
Addiction to children at a young age causes severe effects and complications, especially in old age with repeated use, and failure to stop to treat the problem.
Children must be treated for drug addiction, because drug addiction leads to physical and mental health problems, and this depends on the type of drug used, drug addiction also leads to unconsciousness, coma, infectious diseases, and sometimes to sudden death, especially when taking high doses , or if multiple types of drugs or alcohol are combined. And when you discover symptoms of addiction in your child, you should immediately go to the nearest hospital or center that specializes in treating addiction, and have your child diagnosed. Facing the problem, recognizing it and treating it is much more important than denying it or ignoring it and not being exposed to it.
Prevention and treatment of children from drug addiction
First: the role of parents
The role of parents includes teaching the standards of right and wrong with the process of clarifying those standards by using personal proverbs, and we must realize the importance of role models and that parents be the best role models for their children.
Helping children to resist and face the pressures dictated by their “bad friends” to use drugs. This is done by observing their activities, knowing from their friends, and talking to them about their interests and ways to solve their problems. Parents should also know all about drug addiction signs.
Second, the role of schools
Finding the appropriate means of monitoring for each person and using them on a regular basis. Develop unified plans and programs to identify the dangers and harms of drugs in the curriculum, as providing information about drugs as part of the regular curriculum is more effective, rather than separating it and focusing on it unduly, and thus the curricula that talk about drugs must be serious It is spread in all educational levels. This is done by:
- Integrating drug education into the regular curriculum. For example: biology should include the effects of drugs on human physiology.
- National education lessons related to the laws that control drugs.
- Chemistry courses cover the chemical properties of psychoactive drugs.
- Social studies should include the study of the prevalence of drug use and its possible relationship to crime, poverty and development.
- Develop clear and specific laws related to the issue of drug use, provided that these laws include strong measures to resolve the crisis.
- Develop strict policies against drug use that are fair and regular, with the implementation of security measures to eliminate drug use within the school walls.
- Implementation of a comprehensive and integrated curriculum for the prevention of drug addiction from the beginning of the kindergarten stage until the end of secondary school, which aims to define that addiction and drug abuse is a very wrong and harmful thing, while supporting drug prevention programs.
- Reaching out to the community to help achieve the policy against drug use in schools with the development of a work program for that, with the importance of developing collective work through which the school, voluntary NGOs, parents’ councils, jurists, and treatment organizations work together to provide the necessary resources to eliminate this use. phenomenon.