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Editorial | Drug abuse in schools

Schools have the responsibility of ensuring the holistic development of their students including keeping them safe from predators who haunt campuses for victims. The greatest fear of parents is that their child will fall prey and get lured to vices, the most devastating of which is the use of illegal drugs.
The sad thing is that peer pressure, curiosity and adventurism contribute to young people’s vulnerability to the use of alcohol, smoking and illegal drugs. This is a tough challenge for schools especially because they could not monitor every movement of their students.

During the conference of the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP) two years ago, Catholic schools acknowledged the need for more vigilance and in initiating activities that will dissuade students to use illegal drugs.

Why do students, more particularly college students, turn to drugs?
There are certain factors that can be attributed to drug abuse. These include stress, course load, curiosity and peer pressure. College students grapple with the demands of the course, social obligations and for some, part-time jobs. To meet deadlines and help them stay on top of the game, some resort to stimulants and soon start experimenting in illegal drugs.
While it is true that no one can monitor students 24/7, it is possible to counter the pressure by creating academic activities that will divert students’ attention from vices. Also, establishments close to the campus should be monitored, especially those selling liquors during schooldays.

But like any social ill, all institutions should be involved. The family, friends and other social institutions should work together to stop the drug menace from penetrating schools and universities in the country.

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