Too many youths are involved in alcohol consumption and it seems to be an issue which continues to go undeterred in Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) which will result in negative impacts in their education and by extent, their future.
This is according to Commander of G Division (Essequibo Coast- Islands), Khali Pareshram, who told this publication that there is a high use of alcohol among teenagers, specifically those still attending secondary schools, in his division.
Although they may not be consuming alcohol on the schools’ premises or during instruction periods, a number of youths appear to be resorting to drinking as part of their recreational fun, outside of the classrooms.
He explained that perhaps it could be due to the culture of some families and friends who believe that “a little alcohol” during celebrations would not harm children in any way, however, this is far from the truth.
Once a child becomes exposed to alcohol from early stages, chances are, that individual during the adolescent stage would continue along that line and in adulthood could become an alcoholic.
According to Commander Pareshram, there are sensitisation workshops ongoing at various learning institutions across Region Two geared at educating students about social ills, crimes, traffic violations, and healthy living. But parents and guardians also need to be aware that they have a role to play in practising the same with regard to their children.
“Like any other issue that has to be addressed when children are concerned, this needs a multi-stakeholder approach. Not just the police or organisations but families, neighbours, communities etc. That’s the main way of curbing issues that affect our youths,” he stated.
Touching on the topic of drug usage and abuse by students in secondary schools, the Commander noted that while there is involvement in Region Two, it is not prevalent.
In fact, in relation to illicit substances, the youths who are involved appear to be focused on using cannabis and not ecstasy or other harmful drugs.
“Yes, there is some involvement of substance abuse and usage of illicit substances but when the teachers notice this or are suspicious of this with their students they report what they have observed. In those cases, it is primarily instances where these students are smoking cannabis. However, like I said, through a multi-stakeholder approach we are targeting this matter and expect to see positive results,” the Commander said. (Kristen Macklingam)