1159 GMT March 28, 2020
Drug addiction is among the most important social, economic and health problems threatening the society and bringing about social recession. It is not only the reason for cultural and moral values losing their significance, but also bringing about social decline in various fields.
IRNA conducted an interview with Dr. Fariba Hanifi, a professor and training expert, to learn more about the implications of this social malady. Excerpts of the interview follow:
IRNA: Iran Drug Control Headquarter announced that a new academic course, named Life Skills in Preventing Drug Addiction, will be offered in the universities in near future. Is it necessary to teach the youth how to identify narcotics?
FARIBA HANIFI: Lack of awareness is among the primary causes of many high-risk behaviors, including drug addiction. Offering such academic courses will help raise the knowledge among the youth about drug misuse and its consequences.
In fact, anything that improves the knowledge and perception among people will help them change their ideas and attitude.
Self awareness is among the main components of life skills. It helps a person to act knowingly in a situation that may constrain him/her to become a drug addict.
Figures show that 55 percent of the parents became aware of the addiction in their daughter/son after a lapse of five years due to the lack of knowledge about this social ailment. What role can households play to raise awareness and understanding to prevent drug abuse among the youth?
Based on the research conducted in 2000-2001 academic year, the extent of parents' knowledge about the high-risk behaviors of high school students is below average. Thus it has emerged as a main challenge in the society.
The sooner the parents recognize the signs of drug abuse in the youth, the more effectively will be their assistance on helping them recover.
Studies show Iran has 1.32 million cases of drug abuse, a major number of whom fall within the age-group of 21 and 27. Which educational and training strategies do you suggest to tackle the problem?
Firstly, the parents should be sensitive to any change in their son's/daughter's behavior. On the other hand, mass media should try their best to raise the knowledge among Iranian households about the indications of drug addiction. The parents can take their children to addiction rehabilitation centers to help them become familiar with those who have become addicted to drugs in various ages.
Second, films on the pathology of drug abuse should be produced and made available to the public on social networks.
And third, offering academic courses on identifying narcotics is an effective approach for raising the knowledge of the youth and prevent drug addiction.