In countries like USA , drug-education experts agree that targeted, age-appropriate elementary school drug education is essential to safeguard students against the hazards of drug use and addiction. Access to the web and technology have made communication easier that can be misused for a variety of purposes. Drugs and alcohol are one of the primary reasons for failure in children or young adults, which lead to addiction, depression and suicide. So, should Indian schools introduce drug education, along with sex and alcohol education?
The growing number of teens and young adults in India who consume drugs has been on the rise. Majority of the Indian population being under 35, implies that their peer group and kids would directly or indirectly be influenced by drugs.
“Awareness is necessary” – But how do we break the shell that we have so generously built around our children?
Talking about it is what could be a positive step to avoid, or let’s say, reduce the chances of children taking drugs. Children, whose parents talk early and often about the dangers of alcohol, tobacco and drug use, are 50 percent less likely to succumb to alcohol, abuse and drugs. If schools were to adopt similar measures, the percentage of children who are less likely to use drugs, tobacco or alcohol may increase.
Drug education in schools can be structured, informative, and educational. There are several methods where elementary and high-school teachers can create awareness about these issues. Creating project-based or art-based activities for elementary school children can be employed. Graphics, information, group counseling and social work for high-school children acts as a theoretical and experiential knowledge for them. Information, videos and images that show the causes and effects of drugs and alcohol can raise awareness and help children to make better life choices. Indian schools ought to impart information about the repercussions of drug use or drug dealing, types of drugs, and their effect on health and laws that revolve around drug use and drug dealing. Schools can also involve parents in the awareness activities and give them guidelines for talking about alcohol and drug use.
Drug consumption in India has become more of a social symbol. Popular media has played a significant role in glorifying the use of various narcotics. It is now “cool” to abuse prohibited substances. Teens pick up on these trends without considering the harsh consequences. Schools in India must envisage the threat that lingers at their school gates. Turning a blind eye towards this issue may cripple the future of India’s kids and eventually, the future of India.