Drug-free schools: The buck stops at family, religious leaders’ doorsteps

Secondary school students mostly use drugs at home during holidays and while in school. [Photo Credit: scribol.com]

Are you concerned about the vicious cycle of illegal drugs destroying families, friends, school children, and brilliant future careers?

Stand up to be counted, then! You can break the cycle through a positive approach.

For the youth, you cannot say, “I took drugs because so and so pressured me.”

Remember it is your personal decision to say “No to drugs.”

Against this background, every parent should inform their children that they, in one way or another, shall be pressured by their peers to engage in drugs.

This sounds pretty well for parents since it raises the curtain on what awaits their children in the outside world.

The children are obliged to take the right path to secure their future careers away from drug-infested environments.

It is important for school children not to compare themselves to other children. They don’t have to do something simply because their best friend or classmate is doing it.

Our society is ailing and under siege, suffering from a worrying deterioration of its families, communities, and schools due to the epidemic of illegal drug use.

Coincidentally, today the major concern is not about one getting married, driving a fuel guzzler state-of-the-art vehicle, and living in a fancy house.

The main concern is how to find a way out to keep our families, immediate communities and, by extension our schools drug-free.

The first place to start the war against drug abuse in our midst is the very foundation of our society-the family.

This is where the biggest drug epidemic lies and is entrenched.

Our society has all along created a false impression that it is the youth who recklessly abuse drugs either intentionally or out of peer pressure influence.

The youth do indeed have a problem with illegal drugs. Yet, in most cases, this is just a negligible percentage of the difficulty that the adults, particularly their parents, have with drugs.

We have pretty several programs designed and dangled around to create public awareness and education among the youth-teaching them how to say “No” to illegal drugs and alcohol abuse, something commendable, but on the other hand, there are no such programs educating adults on the dangers of drug abuse.

That is why the first step of getting our families drug-free is to develop programs targeting parents. If you cannot stop drug abuse at the family level, which is the root and foundation of society, it will grow and get entrenched into every aspect of our lives.

Statistics have shown clearly that illegal drug use affects every single aspect of our society.

There is no socio-economic sphere that is immune from illegal drug use.

Such statistics, in fact, have further confirmed that even drug rehabilitation programs without the church’s spiritual intervention and nourishment will hardly make our society, more especially our schools, drug-free environments.

We must be cognizant of the fact that the majority of the successful drug rehabilitation programs are spiritually-blended.

This confirms that this illegal drug use war, in many aspects, is a spiritual battle.

The next point to focus on is the surrounding neighborhoods, where our attention must always be on the drug traffickers and dealers selling drugs to our unsuspecting children, especially school children.

This is where everybody who means well for our children’s future life careers must stand up to be counted and spare no effort in ensuring the fight against this illegal drug epidemic is taken to the doorsteps of the drug barons and their agents.

Another critical area within our society that has raised much concern for everyone is our schools.

This is where our children interact and learn. Instead of getting education they are unconsciously getting poisoned with illegal drug use by agents of drug barons.

Against this background, the remedy shifts to having a solid foundation of a drug-free family, community and church intervention through spiritual guidance and counseling to stop the merchants of illegal drugs from selling their poison to our innocent school children.

The family, community and the church can inculcate holistic and positive moral values in our school children to facilitate them identify and pick their positive role models through education and motivation on how to stay clear of illegal drugs.

We are neither from the planet Mars nor the moon to feign ignorance of the ruins caused by illegal drugs to children or our neighbors in the immediate communities.

That is why this is not such a time to keep asking, “What can I do?”

Instead, it is such a critical moment of soul searching and a time to ask your community, “What can we do to make our society and, by extension, our schools drug-free?

It is such a critical moment that you and your community should collaborate and share notes on how best you can clean up your drug-infested environment.

You and your community should get out of your comfort zone and hold accountable the Government, which collects your taxes, the state and non-state actors, to help you scale up the war against illegal drug use within your communities and the wider society.

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Mr. Oroko is a Media and Communications practitioner based in Kisii, Kenya. His contact: benoroko2000@benoroko


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