Idris and Adam are two inseparable teenagers who had been friends since their childhood days. Even though they attended different schools, they had always been quite close. At least quite close until recently.
Adam’s mum would ask him “I don’t see Idris around here anymore, what’s up with you two?”.
“Nothing” he’d say shrugging it off.
Adam’s mother though was not satisfied with her son’s curt replies, she decided to spy on them at their favorite meeting spot, at Riverplate Park, behind the local community school.
At the park, she hid behind a bamboo tree, to her dismay, alongside Idris and Adam, was the local dropout Denis, and two other tattered looking boys. She stared in shock as they staggered clumsily across the park. What shocked her more, was the sight of Idris, Adam’s friend. He was also staggering badly, almost loosing his footing. One thing was clear, they were heavily intoxicated. At this point she was sweating profusely, breathing heavily and was almost about to faint.
Oh God she thought tearfully Save my Adam save my dear son
She managed to calm herself down and to her utter relief, Adam, her dear son was completely normal. He seemed to be crying and talking to Idris. She couldn’t hear what they were saying from a distance, but she could tell her son was pleading to Idris.
What happened next?
Back at home, she paced up and down the dining room, impatiently waiting for her son’s return. She was a good friend of her son, at least she thought so, and she wondered how on earth he was able to keep something this serious from her. Men will always be men she thought rolling her eyes.
Adam came in, tiptoeing quietly, obviously trying to avoid her. She had made up her mind not to pressurize him, but try a calmer approach to make him talk the whole “thing” out.
He walked past her hurriedly managing a “hi mom” in his croaky voice, face looking down.
“Hey lil-man” she responded trying to sound normal “You seem so restless, is all basketball beginning to wear you out?”
“Uhh umm” he murmured, not slowing down.
He won’t give in she thought.
She couldn’t stop herself anymore “Is Idris doing drugs?” she shouted across to him, just as he was about to enter his room.
He turned around instantaneously and stared at her in horror, dropping his bags.
Much later, after he had calmed down, she went to his room with two cups of tea, handed a cup to him and reclined on the sofa, waiting for him to speak.
“How….did you know?” he managed to say “about Idris”
“I spied on you” she admitted “I was freaking out when I noticed how you were drifting apart from me, avoiding me. And not seeing Idris around and everything. I just knew you were hiding something”
He nodded in approval, not a bit surprised, and related the whole story to her as he wept painfully.
“Idris started this about three months ago, it all started like a joke. Whenever we go to play basketball, Denis and his friends would make fun of us. He referred to us as the uncool ones because we don’t smoke pope, I would often tell Idris to leave them alone and not be provoked by what they were doing. They were clearly the fools. It seemed to me he understood that quite clearly, but obviously he didn’t. When I hurt my foot and missed the games for two days, they took advantage of my absence and finally initiated him. I was shocked when I resumed and he was part of the gang. Just two days mum can you imagine? And it’s gotten so bad now. I want to avoid the group completely, but I can’t leave Idris like that. I’ve been pleading with him to come with me so that we can seek help before it’s too late. But he threatened to commit suicide if I tell this to anyone. Mummy do you think it’s my fault” he wept “ Do you think if I had told you earlier we could have done something about it. Do you think…….”
“It’s not at all your fault” she said, placing her hand on his shoulder “but yes, you shouldn’t have hidden this. How were you able to stop yourself from joining the gang anyway?”
“You know they’ve been organizing these leadership workshops at my school. The G&C department, and we had always looked up to them. The G&C have always been there for us. If you had any issues, any issues at all, whether academic or emotional or if you have any tiffs with friends, you’d approach them without any fear or doubt. They’ve always assured us that they always had our backs and we shouldn’t ever consume drugs, it’d destroy our lives and so on. I guess that was why I never even went close to it. I wish Idris was at my school.”
I wish Idris attended Adam’s school too and I wish every school in Nigeria was like Adam’s school, I wish we could always device ways to prevent the youth from becoming drug addicts.
Is this possible?
Yes, it’s very possible. If every school had an effective Guidance and Counselling system,
and every child and youth had access to this professional adult who will help them sort their lives out and build their self worth and self esteem from a very young age, then we will better kids and better societies.
In a report Natoinal Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH),
<http://www.oas.samhsa.gov/2k3/school/school.htm>, it was found that teenagers who enjoyed going to school, felt that their assigned schoolwork was meaningful, or who thought that what they learned in school was going to be important later in life were less likely to have used illicit drugs or alcohol compared to young people who did not have these positive attitudes towards school.
Do you think adopting effective G&C systems can help in curbing the drug abuse among adolescents.
Share your thoughts in the form below! I would love to hear from you!