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THE PREVENTION OF DRUG CONSUMPTION


PREVENTION
 

The prevention of drug consumption is one of the main objectives of society as a whole.  It is an objective to which all the elements of society must compromise and participate:  The government, the Non governmental organizations, entrepreneurs, unions,  everybody!  In order to achieve this objective, we must realize that no one is excluded from this task; A task that we must all be committed to.

Prevention aims to:

  • Avoid the consumption of drugs in our society.
  • Detect specific strengths and weaknesses in the different sectors of the population.
  • Develop state public policies based on scientific research with the help of all the elements of society.
  • To educate the public, especially children and teenagers in order to help them to have healthy lifestyles that exclude drug consumption of any kind.

EDUCATION FOR LIFE

Specialists unanimously agree that education is one of the best ways to avoid drug consumption as an alternative to solve the problems that everyday life implies.  We try to give education for a healthy life, oriented to the intellectual, emotional and social growth of the child and the teenager.  Its objective is to increase their ability to make the right decisions, to make clear what the moral values are and to encourage attitudes and abilities in order to successfully fight the supply of drugs. 

Education starts in the early stages of life.  It is not a task for the schools only, but also and above all, for the family, the media and the other institutions in the community.

We must point out, however, that it is the early relationship between the mother and the child and the environment at home that have the first and most decisive influence on the future of the child.

COMMUNICATION WITHIN THE FAMILY 

The family is the foundation of any and all societies and it constitutes the environment for the transmission of values, attitudes towards life, and the guidelines for the behavior of our children.

At home we can help our children face the problem of drug consumption:

       By strengthening their self-esteem and the confidence in themselves, by giving them the chance to choose healthier   lifestyles, by talking to them.

       By giving them firm, positive values, and later reinforcing this by exercising those values.

       By giving them the skills to face the problems that they will face in their everyday life.
 

The key is fluent communication, which is something that favors:

         The ability to listen to one another.

         The free expression of opinions and feelings.

         The respect for someone else's point of view even if it differs from ours.

         The discouragement of violent attitudes as a way of communication.
 

We can't let anyone say that they don't have the will power, or that they are "weak".  Many individual, familiar, social, economic, cultural and other kinds of reasons have an influence at the moment of making the decision to consume drugs.

These reasons are called risk factors for the population in general and are not specific for anyone in particular.  They are situations that, when present in a determined sector of the population, may have an influence, and cause drug consumption problems.

Just as we speak about these factors, we can also speak about those reasons or circumstances that, on the other hand, make it easy to have healthy lifestyles.  These are called protection factors in the general population and they are one of the main elements for preventing the inadequate use of drugs.  These factors interact with the specific strengths and weaknesses that people, families, groups and institutions have and that we must correctly identify in order to perform successful prevention.  

The pressure that the others put on us is a factor that we must recognize and learn to deal with; specially in the teenage stage of our life, where the opinion of "the others" is very important and the tendency to act according to what they think is greater than in other stages of life.

That is the reason why the pressure that is put on  a young person to consume drugs is one of the factors that can lead him to take this decision, a very harmful one to its health. 

The degree of influence that friends, classmates or significant others have on us can make us act for these external reasons: 

To be accepted within a group where we find people who we love.

To avoid getting into trouble.

To learn to solve life's critical situations without resorting to the use of chemical substances is a basic task that is learned within the family since the very moment in which our strengths and skills are tested.  A good relationship in the early bonding between the mother and the child, and a loving, warm family environment that shows solidarity, are the keys to achieve this goal.