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Drug Abuse: Be vigilant with your wards, Cleric urges parents

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A cleric, Rev. Fr. Anthony Orioha, on Tuesday called on parents to be more vigilant in taking interest in the activities of their children, to reduce the effects of drug abuse in the society.

Orioha, who is the Chaplain, St. Rita’s Society Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, made the call while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos.

“The issue of drug abuse presently among youths is alarming and it is a development that calls for the attention of everyone.

“We should all be involved in this, because the control and eradication of these drug substances in the society affects all of us one way or the other, and not only the youth.

“Parents, guardians, teachers and colleagues should all be involved in curbing this menace from further encroaching into the society,” he said.

The reverend said the way to preventing drug abuse among youths begins with proper parental guidance.

“Parents should guide and support their children by getting involved in what they are doing, even as they are growing up.

“Children will not just wake up one day and start doing drugs. They are usually led into it by friends when they are not properly monitored by their parents or guardians.

“There are still many occasions of this taking place in our society today because parents are more interested in making money rather than concerning themselves with the activities of their children,” he said.

Orioha advised parents to be more vigilant in respect of the things that interest their children and the kind of friends they keep in school, to avoid dealing with the dire consequences of their actions.

“Strict monitoring should be put in place in order to monitor the activities of their children, because when children are left alone, they embrace a new form of life.

“Children usually become wayward as a result of being neglected from parental upkeep, and the consequences of their actions will bounce back on us and the society as a whole,” he said.

The reverend said that “all hands must be on deck” in the bid to continue to talk to the youth about the negative effects of engaging in drugs.

He said that punitive and rehabilitative measures should also be deployed to proffer a way out for those already caught up in the web of drug usage.

“The Bible says teach a child in the way of the Lord and when they grow, they will not depart from it.

“When God gives children, parents are expected to cater for them; where they fail in doing so, then the children find themselves deviating from the norms and practices of the land.

“I urge parents to continue to do their little bit to ensure that our youths desist from this act which has a negative effect on them and the society at large,” he said.