"IF you can stay away from drugs in the first 19 years of your life then drug abuse will not be a major problem."
This was the advice from the education officer health at the National Substance Abuse Advisory Council to students of Saraswati College.
Addressing the students, Talica Malani said one became a threat or danger to his or her own family and friends once they became a drug addict.
Mrs Malani said there was a need for parents and teachers to spend quality time with children.
"Parents should talk to their children about issues that concern them," she said.
Mrs Malani said one of the reasons children got into drugs was because of lack of activities organised at home.
"It is from home that we can create an environment so children can enjoy themselves at home rather than go outside," she said.
Mrs Malani said parents should also be aware of their children's friends.
"By knowing who their friends are will allow parents to get an insight into the characteristics of their friends," she said.
Mrs Malani said every home should have some kind of guideline as to how children were expected to behave and when they were expected to be at home.
"There are constructive ways to help children stay away from such negative influences," she said.
Mrs Malani said teachers, parents and community groups could become agents of positive change if they led by example.
"The consequence of not taking drugs is in itself a great motivation to stop taking drugs," she said.