A Clinical Psychologist, Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, Dr Adedotun Ajiboye, has advised parents to prevent drug abuse by talking to children about the consequences of the act and the importance of making healthy choices.
The Psychologist gave the advice in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja.
According to him, drug abuse is a social menace in the society that is ruining many lives, especially health of the users, families, communities, labour organisations and nations across the world.
“Talk honestly with your child about healthy choices and risky behaviours is very important.’’ Ajiboye advised.
He said that most of the social vices in the society such as kidnapping, cultism, armed robbery, rape, cyber-crime, domestic and societal violence, were all connected to drug abuse.
“People abuse both illicit drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, heroine among others and licit ones, such as tramadol, cigarette, alcohol and pentasocine psychoactive substances.
He said many factors were recognised as major predictors of drug abuse in the generation,, including poor parenting, exposure to technology and the environment.
According to him, for poor parenting, parents using any of the psychoactive substances can easily influence their children to use as well.
He said a theory in psychology-social learning confirmed this, noting that when a child observed the parents using psychoactive substances, he or she could emulate them.
According to him, some environment can be seen as rearing grounds for drug addicts, adding that at such places, psychoactive substances are readily available, making people to have access and use the substances.
Ajiboye said that for technology, social media had also been recognised as platforms where people learnt how to use psychoactive substances, because many posts or advertisements on the internet promoted drug abuse.
He explained that the best way that parents could assist their children to stay safe online, was to ensure that they were familiar with technology themselves.
“One of the biggest fears for parents is that their child could either meet inappropriate people, or engage in inappropriate activity online,’’ Ajiboye said.
According to him, many parents choose to monitor their children’s online activities and whether or not to let the child know.
On the impact of negative family environment had on the development of a child, he identified poor language development by age three and later behaviour problems, as some of the challenges.
Others, he said, were aggression, anxiety or depression, deficits in school readiness and impaired cognitive development from age three to 24.
He noted that such unsuitable home environment were not healthy for the development of children.
Ajiboye advised that taking a week break from social media platforms might improve the well-being of children and reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)