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A Call to Action: Parents’ Responsibility in Combating Youth Drug Abuse for a Thriving Kano State

By Amb Maryam Hassan

Introduction:
Drug abuse has become a grave and escalating concern in Kano, posing a significant threat to the well-being, development and future of our youths. To effectively combat this menace, it is high time parents awakened to their responsibilities as the primary influencers in their children’s lives. The battle against drug abuse cannot be won solely through government efforts or external interventions; parents must play an active role in safeguarding their children and nurturing a drug-free environment. Failing to acknowledge and act upon this responsibility will undoubtedly lead to devastating consequences for our beloved Kano State.

Understanding the Menace:
Drug abuse among youths in Kano State has reached alarming proportions, with devastating consequences on individual lives, families and communities. Young people are susceptible to the allure of drugs due to various factors such as peer pressure, curiosity, escapism or a desire to fit in. The consequences of drug abuse are far-reaching, including physical and mental health deterioration, academic decline, broken relationships, and increased criminality. If left unchecked, the impact of drug abuse will reverberate throughout society, hindering progress and impeding the future of our State.

The Role of Parents:
Parents are the first line of defense against drug abuse. They possess a unique position of influence, shaping their children’s attitudes, behaviors, and decision-making processes. It is vital for parents to recognize the gravity of the situation and assume their role as vigilant guardians of their children’s well-being. Here are some key responsibilities parents must undertake:

1. Education and Awareness: Parents must equip themselves with accurate knowledge about the various forms of drug abuse, their consequences and warning signs. By staying informed, parents can effectively communicate the risks to their children, providing them with the necessary knowledge to make informed choices.

2. Open and Supportive Communication: Establishing open lines of communication with children is crucial. Parents should create an environment where their children feel comfortable discussing their fears, concerns, and challenges. Regular conversations about the dangers of drug abuse and the importance of making healthy choices will help strengthen the parent-child bond and instill resilience against peer pressure.

3. Setting Clear Boundaries and Expectations: Parents need to establish and enforce rules regarding substance abuse. Clear expectations regarding behaviors, curfews and consequences for breaking the rules should be communicated consistently. This creates a framework of accountability and fosters a sense of responsibility in children.

4. Being Role Models: Parents must lead by example. By maintaining a healthy lifestyle, avoiding substance abuse themselves and displaying responsible decision-making, parents become powerful role models for their children. Children tend to emulate the behaviors and attitudes they observe in their parents, making positive parental influence indispensable.

5. Building Support Networks: Parents should actively seek out support networks within their communities. Engaging with other parents, educators, and local organizations dedicated to drug abuse prevention will provide valuable resources, shared experiences, and opportunities for collective action.

Conclusion:
The drug abuse epidemic in Kano State demands a fire service approach and a concerted effort from all stakeholders. Parents, as the primary influencers in their children’s lives, hold a pivotal role in shaping a drug-free future for the state. By awakening to their responsibilities, parents can play an active role in combating drug & Substance abuse. Through education, open communication, setting boundaries, and being positive role models, parents can empower their children to make healthy choices and resist the allure of drugs. Only by working together can we protect our youths, preserve our community’s fabric, and secure a prosperous future for Kano State.

Amb. Maryam Hassan
Amb. Maryam Hassan

Amb Maryam Hassan is Executive Director,
League for Societal Protection Against Drug Abuse (LESPADA) 08036373402

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