Suddenly there is a boom in the newspaper coverage of drugs. The stories tell of dealers lurking in the shadows, the tricks they use to get to abusers and elude police…it sounds like some mafia movie, or Hong Kong underworld.
Is it true, though? Have the menacing tentacles of drugs seeped into our society so thoroughly that we should worry? It is not Y2K that brought drugs into the land of the Thunder Dragon. But the stories seem to be getting more frequent. There seem to be more children out in the streets, ready to “experience.”
Is it a sign of changing times, changing beliefs? The hippie movement left this country untouched, and even though there were many students studying outside even in those days, old timers insist that they did not bring the habit in the country.
True, there were a lot less people studying outside those days, but there has been a change, that is for sure. A change in attitude, perhaps, on how we look at drug abuse, or rather, how the young generation looks at drug abuse.
The attitude change is clear on many other areas- drinking, smoking, partying, money, sex….the generation gap is a clear cut line when these are the questions at hand.
Do these children know, that when they choose to experiment with drugs, when they say, “you should try out everything”, they are, in fact, hurling themselves into a spiralling abyss? Do they realise that when they pick up that tablet from that shady guy around the corner in Hong Kong market, they are looking at a life of sunken eyes, aimless gait, and desperate speech? That they are, in fact, declaring their hatred for their own lives?
The generation that went to school in the 90’s grew up with “Say no to drugs” slogan plastered all over school buildings, yet they have added to the numbers of abusers. The children now at school are still looking at the same posters, the one where the road forks, drugs leading to darkness and books and friends leading to a rising sun. But the message hasn’t sunk in.
Schools, it seems, are already overburdened with all sorts of responsibilities. But we need them to do more, our future grows up within those walls, and this is our chance of making some impact on them.
We need more lessons at schools. We need to tell our children what exactly it is that they are doing when they are saying yes to that tablet in the name of ‘gaining experience’.
Reformed addicts have stories to tell that don’t get told enough. They have stories of why (just like you) they thought they would do it because they were open to new experiences, and how, deep in their hearts, they didn’t love themselves. They have scary stories to tell of how they kept falling into a chasm of tablets and injections, how it seemed impossible to get out, and how, one day, they realised that they must get out, even if it was not easy. We need to get these stories around more.
We also need to ensure that our children love their lives that they feel they are worth something. Ever notice that the ones who do well academically are usually not the ones doing drugs? They have a sense of achievement. We need to give this to more of our children.
Budding artists and actors and singers should know what it is that they have in them. They need a chance to create that wonderful something that they themselves will be in awe of.
We need to give them a chance at life which is much harder to declare hatred against.