Symptoms of drugs

HERE is what parents should know about the factors influencing children to experiment with drugs:

HERE is what parents should know about the factors influencing children to experiment with drugs:

l A lack of affection and attention from parents;

l A belief by parents that their children would never do drugs and fail to inform or warn them;

l Parents' ignorance about drugs;

l Peer pressure.

Parents should also know that the effects of drug abuse are not restricted to the drug abuser, but spill over to the affected child's family, friends and society. And, also drugs attract paraphernalia such as:

l The excessive use of mouth sprays, chewing gum and sweets to remove the smell of alcohol;

l Continuous use of eye-drops to clear blood-shot eyes;

l Sunglasses worn at inappropriate times;

l Unexplained tablets, powders or small dry seeds or dagga pips in pockets, handbags or plastic bank sachets;

l Cigarette rolling papers;

l Inhalant substances such as glue, thinners, turpentine, lighter fluids, and acetone.

physical indicators

There are identifiable characteristics of drug dependency, starting with physical indicators, including the following:

l Red eyes;

lRepeated vomiting or abdominal pains;

l Indistinct speech;

l Excessive perspiration;

l Delayed reflex action;

l Disorientation, dizziness, trembling hands;

l Regular nosebleeds;

l Deterioration of health;

l Inexplicable weight loss;

l Injection marks, bruising, scabs, sores on arms, legs or private parts.

And, the behavioural indicators include:

l Long uninterrupted sleeping periods or insomnia;

l Change in appetite;

l Aggressive, or hostile behaviour;

l Mood swings, or personality disturbances;

l Sudden change of friends or becoming loners;

l Hallucinations;

l Theft or abnormal spending;

l Neglect of personal hygiene;

l Impaired word performance, reduced concentration span;

l Lack of motivation; at school or in hobbies.

What to do if you know that your child is taking drugs:

l Seek professional help from a doctor, a counsellor, a spiritual leader, rehabilitation centres or helplines. - From the SAP website. The North West SAPS is an active nation-building partner in the yearly Stop Crime Drama Festival, together with Dramatists Against Crime, North West Sports, Arts and Culture Department, Sowetan, Business Arts SA and the Aggrey Klaaste Nation Building Foundation