Experts who participated in 'Children Matter', an Anti-drug National Seminar held between November 16-18 in Thiruvananthapuram, opined that parents have to take responsibility when it comes to monitoring the consumption of drug use among children. What seems to be harmless habits can have far-reaching impacts on children. Over 300 delegates from over 60 countries participated in the seminar.
Edith Schlaffer, the founder of Women Without Borders, a world-renowned women's volunteer organization, pointed out that the change from joint family to nuclear family is happening rapidly in India.
Social drinking is considered the new normal today. Character formation happens between the ages of four and ten. She also said that parents' use of drugs, including alcohol and smoking, will have a major impact on children. Edith also pointed out that these days parents are busy justifying their children out of blind love. She said all parents should understand that the danger of drug addiction can occur not only in the neighbourhood but also in their own families at any time.
Edith also spoke about the importance of spreading drug abuse awareness among parents. The ones who usually handle other issues efficiently often falter when it comes to drug abuse because of this lack of awareness. So parents should be given special awareness classes about the ill effects of drug use in children.
Diana Vincent, the founder of the Fourth Wave Foundation, said that parents should first avoid using intoxicating products in front of their children to prevent the use of drug abuse in children. Parents are the children's heroes till the age of ten. She added that if they preach something and practice another thing, it causes confusion in children.
According to the Fourth Wave Foundation advisor, Raja Shanmugam one should interact with children according to their age. There are higher chances of slipping into addiction till the age of 24. He also stressed that children should never be treated like adults at an early age.
Religious Institutions and community organizations offer premarital counselling. Such forms of counselling should be extended to all communities. He also said that the issue of drug use should be dealt with separately.