By Manga, 15 years
It is for a fact that in Kenya, issues concerning drugs and substance abuse by children is transparent and from my perspective, children use drugs as a coping mechanism-a method of dealing with unhappiness, self loathe, stress and anxiety or other potential issues.
Additionally, peer pressure causes children to do things they would otherwise not do in hopes of fitting in or being noticed which includes experimenting with alcohol and drugs. This risky behavior of substance and drugs abuse can lead to accidents, sexually transmitted diseases etc.
Furthermore, when children are in environments where this is practiced by adults, they tend to imitate their behaviors and actions. Usage of drugs and other substances can lead to body harm socially, health wise-mentally and physically. Too much alcohol can lead to liver cirrhosis, too much smoking can cause lung cancer, physical numbness, loss of appetite and weight.
Comparatively, substance and drug abuse negatively affects a person’s life including children and those around them. It harms one’s ability to think clearly and it also increase mental health illnesses. If a child engages in drugs and substance abuse they tend to lose focus and direction in their lives.
It leads to poor academic performance as well as unemployment to adults as they are unable to perform diligently. It also damages the relationships at home and in children it results to one being excluded from school and rejected by friends and family members at time due to embarrassment. One can also be excluded from family gathering as well as attending social events due to bad influence.
One’s personality changes due to drugs and substance abuse hence they become violent, secretive, start engaging in crime and also the start having low-self-esteem.
As a teenager, I believe that these are some of the solutions that can be used to help curb the situation:
Government can introduce guidance and counselling sessions in institutions and in the society.
Individuals abusing drugs can use healthy coping mechanisms like self-meditation, exercise or they can visit rehabilitation center if the situation is uncontrollable.
The society can collaboratively organize forums, where mostly teenagers and young adults can come together and be mentored as a way of creating awareness on such issues.
To sum it up, we should all play our role in society including us children by watching over each other and reporting issues that affect us either directly or indirectly. We should also speak more often on drug and substance abuse to help curb the situation.