Drug awareness week

Students of Dilkusha Methodist High School at the launch on Monday. Picture: ANA MADIGIBULI

STUDENTS were reminded of the importance of taking responsibility of their own health and maintaining a good life away from drugs.

More than 300 students were part of the International Day against Drug and Illicit Trafficking (IDADAIT) Week launch at the Vunimono Hall in Nausori on Monday.

Schools from around Nausori were part of the launch with the Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts permanent secretary Alison Burchell being the chief guest.

Ms Burchell touched on issues that mainly affected children and even the public like drugs, NCDs, teenage pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, violence and mental health.

“All these issues relate to our own health and there is only one person who can take responsibility for your health and that’s yourself,” she told the students on Monday.

“It is something that is not dedicated to someone else, you have to take responsibility for yourself and no one else can do that for you.
“Even if you are a 10, 11 or 12 years old, you need to start taking that responsibility yourself.
“You can’t leave it to your parents, can’t leave it to your family or friends or leave it to your siblings or teachers you have to take full responsibility yourself.

She said drugs could be addictive if used often.

“You might think that having a little bit of marijuana is fine and that you want to try it and see how it’s like,” she said.

“Then you start to like the feeling, then you keep taking it and then your body becomes tolerant to that particular drug and then from there you might go into other drugs that are more addictive.
“When you become addicted it’s hard or difficult to come away from it.
“There are a lot of reasons why people take drugs, some would be because friends are taking it and you want to follow them to, but we don’t always have to follow their footsteps.
“Sometimes we have to lead and being a leader can be quite difficult because you have to say no to certain things that many are saying yes to.
“Sometimes people might want to take drugs because they want to run away from their problems, they don’t have self-esteem but at the end of the day let us address the main issues.
“If you’re suffering because of low self-esteem lets address that issue that’s why we have student counsellors, we have teachers you can go to, parents and siblings you can share your concerns with, address the root cause and not try to run away from your problems.
“ It’s just by rising up to our challenges that we are able to grow and we become mature and become supportive towards others as well.”

More Stories