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How to Know if Your Child is Using Drugs

Children drugs

The severity of drug use among school children has escalated alarmingly in the last few years. Here’s what to look out for if you think your child may be affected by sweets containing hard drugs:

1. Dilated pupils
2. Increased heart rate
3. Elevated body temperature
4. Paranoia
5. Increased blood pressure
6. Dry mouth
7. Increased energy and alertness, excitable
8. Sleeplessness
9. Reduced appetite
10. Rapid breathing

If you have concerns that your child may have been affected you could perform a home test or contact your local doctor.

Source: Carte Blanche

The story of a nine-year-old Centurion pupil caught selling drugs at school – allegedly for his parents – has highlighted the severity of drug use among school children. The trend, if research studies are anything to go by, is a reflection of the growing rate of substance abuse.

Easily available

The Anti Drug Alliance South Africa’s 2012 annual survey, which gathered data from over 57 000 respondents, showed that more people were using drugs than ever. Among teenagers:

  • 69 percent of the respondents said drugs were available to buy at their schools
  • About 34 percent of the teenage respondents admitted to having used drugs in the past six months
  • About 32 percent said they’d taken drugs over the past month and 27 percent said they’d used within the past week.

The respondents said the most readily available drugs at their schools, as other surveys also showed, was marijuana, followed by cat, tik and then cocaine. Nyaope – a mixture of antiretrovirals, rat poison, marijuana and heroin, among other things – is also popular among pupils.

Alarming increase

The SA National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (Sanca) said there was an “alarming increase” of people under the age of 21 in treatment centres. The number of children under 13 years using drugs increased by 3 percent during 2011/12. During the same time, children under 17 made up 22 percent of people in treatment centres – a 2 percent increase.

Erika Nel from Sanca Horizon in Boksburg, said the clinic sees the highest increase in drug use among children in the 15-19 age group. Increasingly younger children were starting to experiment with drugs, she said.

“Drugs have become more accessible than they were in the past and children have more unsupervised time than they did in the past.”

Source: IOL News

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