Substance-abuse help is on hand

2016-08-24 06:00
Doon Heights Primary Grade 7 pupils made posters as part of the life orientation curriculum, with them is the teacher, Bradley Peterson (middle, right).Doon Heights Primary is raising awareness about substance abuse, the Grade 7 pupils made posters as part of the Life Orientation curriculum, with them is the teacher, Bradley Peterson.

Doon Heights Primary Grade 7 pupils made posters as part of the life orientation curriculum, with them is the teacher, Bradley Peterson (middle, right).Doon Heights Primary is raising awareness about substance abuse, the Grade 7 pupils made posters as part of the Life Orientation curriculum, with them is the teacher, Bradley Peterson.

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DRUGS and substance abuse are rife in our community, creating a huge socio-economic drain and an increase in crime. Drug users are vagrants, teenagers and adults. More and more drug peddlers are disguising drugs as sweets and selling them to children.

It is believed that children as young as nine smoke cigarettes. According to the World Health Organisation, almost 147 million individuals over the age of 12 are actively involved in smoking marijuana. Teenagers are also hooked on high-end substances such as heroin, methamphetamines, cocaine and hallucinogens.

Alcohol is popular in youth culture and is regularly abused by them, which destroys lives.

Bradley Peterson, Grade 7 teacher at Doon Heights Primary, has spoken to his pupils about the perils of substance abuse as part of the life orientation curriculum. Pupils were allowed to research a drug of their choice and came up with interesting facts and drew posters and pamphlets, which are being advertised in the school foyer.

As a parent or care-giver, you need to be aware if your child is showing the symptoms of substance abuse.

Signs:

• Bloodshot eyes. Pupils which are smaller or larger than usual.

• Frequent nosebleeds (related to sniffing drugs).

• Changes in appetite or sleep problems.

• Sudden weight loss or gain.

• Impaired co-ordination, injuries, bruises, etc., which they cannot tell you about (they don’t know how they got hurt).

• Unusual smells on breath, body or clothing.

• Shakes, tremors, slurred speech.

Substance abuse help lines are available for parents and teens stuck in the drug abuse cycle.

For help or advise phone the toll-free number 0800 12 1314. Send SMS to 32312.

The Amanzimtoti Alcohol and Drug Recovery Clinic is open 24 hours, contact it on 083 415 7804.

- Supplied.

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