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Boys and drugs

Ignorance and denial are not the way to deal with a drug problem.
teen boy smoking
Megan de Beyer

Pic: Getty Images

Article originally in Parent24
Drug abuse is a problem in every sector of South African society. Here are some reasons it’s on the rise:

  • Increased availability of drugs
  • Society’s attitude to alcohol / drugs
  • Rave culture
  • Access to money
  • Highly competitive and stressful environment
  • Prevalence of anxiety and depression disorders.

Signs and symptoms of drug use

At home
  • avoiding family activities and responsibilities
  • appetite changes
  • disappearance of valuable items/money
  • not coming home on time
  • secrecy
  • spending a lot of time alone
  • lying about his activities
  • finding the following: cigarette rolling papers, pipes, small glass vials, small plastic bank bags, remnants of drugs (seeds, etc.)

At school
  • a drop in marks
  • loss of interest in learning
  • sleeping in class
  • poor work performance
  • not doing homework
  • poor attitude towards sports or other extracurricular activities
  • reduced memory and attention span
  • not informing you of school activities

Physical and emotional signs
  • changes friends
  • uncharacteristic behaviour
  • negative, argumentative, paranoid or confused, destructive, anxious
  • over-reacts to criticism
  • overly tired or hyperactive
  • drastic weight loss or gain
  • unhappy/depressed/mood swings
  • deterioration in standards of personal hygiene and appearance

What are our boys using?

Megan de Beyer has a Masters degree in Psychology. She practised in both Cape Town and Durban and has run many successful parenting workshops at high schools.

Has your son had a drug problem? How have you handled it?


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