6 Straight Days of #SAFE4MEMovement Encounter on Drug Abuse: Day 3

Culled from our Instructional Material: S.A.F.E™ 4 YOU

TIP 93

DRUG ABUSE (2)

“An over-indulgence of anything, even something as pure as water, can intoxicate.”

Criss JAMI

 Welcome to our discussion today my dear and precious young ones.

I am here to continue our discussion on Drug Abuse. For the purpose of this discussion we will be concentrating more on the second category of our definition, which solely dwells on drugs we listed yesterday, which also include cigarette.

One sure fact about drug abuse is that it is a progression from one harmful drug to the other until one reaches the climax. For example a young person, who is addicted to marijuana today started most often with cigarette and got addicted to that, then graduates to marijuana when his/her system, outgrows the stimulating effect of cigarette, then to cocaine and ultimately heroine.

In a newspaper report titled: “Heroine affects your life, cocaine destroys your pocket”, a drug addict said: “I have been smoking (cigarette) before starting to take drugs”. “…A recent study of 11,000 middle school students has established a statistical relationship between the use of tobacco, alcohol and cannabis”.

Dr. Kariu Ndiolu in an article titled: “Cannabis: A hidden Danger” stated as follows, “a study conducted by the National Centre on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, New York reveals as follows: “among teens …those who drank and smoke cigarettes at least once in a month were thirty (30) times more likely to use marijuana than those who did not. Teenagers in the same group…were seventeen (17) times more likely to abuse other drugs like cocaine, heroine and amphetamines”.  Other studies carried out in Italy, further reveals “the progressive nature of how substance abuse experience with one kind of drug sets the user on a search for stronger and quick acting chemicals”. From the facts presented above addiction to other harmful and hard drugs begins with smoking of “cigarettes at least once in a month.”

Before leaving you today, having defined drug abuse, I will like to share with you what I have found as the reasons why young people like you go into the use of drug. Here are some of them:

  1. Example: I began to smoke cigarettes before I was 12 years old. My father smoked cigarettes regularly and I copied him. I had started drinking earlier. My father also drank and many days, he would be drunk and not be able to find his way home. I took after my father very early. That was to my detriment. I will share with you later how to deal with the impact of negative examples from caregivers.
  2. Indulgence: as young people, you indulge yourselves. What does it mean to indulge? To indulge simply means to allow yourself to enjoy the pleasure of something you desire without carefully considering the consequences. It has been found that drug abuse is an area where many young people indulge themselves. The truth of the matter is that you give yourself sundry excuses to indulge yourself in one kind of bad habit or the other. You think you cannot do without a particular thing or a particular lifestyle. One major reason why you indulge yourself is that you are not aware of the consequences of your actions. You fail to understand that for every action, there is a reaction. Therefore, no one gets away with anything. Until you choose to discipline yourself, you are not ready to live. I will spend time later discussing with you how to put your indulgences under firm control.

I think should round up today here and continue tomorrow. Thank you and do have an INSPIRED day.

The THINK Factor

How do you relate to the reasons why young people like you get involved in drug abuse? Take time to really reflect and share your thoughts in your S.A.F.E™ 4 YOU Personal Journal and share with your parents and other trusted caregivers and friends.

 

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6 Straight Days of #SAFE4MEMovement Encounter on Drug Abuse: Day 2

culled from our Instructional Material: S.A.F.E™ 4 YOU:

TIP 92

DRUG ABUSE (1)

“Drugs are a waste of time. They destroy your memory and your self-respect and

everything that goes along with your self esteem.”

Kurt COBAIN

My dear and precious young ones I am glad to be with you today. Sure you are making the best of your day.  My pleasure is to be with you today as we discuss the matters of your Personal Safety and Self-Protection.

I will be discussing with you for the next few days what drug abuse really means.

In considering the definition of drug abuse, we must first understand that “Drug” and “Abuse” are two different words. The need then arises to define both words separately to get the meaning of the phrase: “Drug abuse”.

“Drug” is defined by Advanced Learners’ Dictionary as follows:

  • Substance used for medical purpose either alone or in a mixture substance that changes the state or function of cells, organs, or organisms.
  • Substance (often habitual forming) inducing sleep or producing stupor or insensibility e.g. opium, cocaine.

 

From these definitions, drugs can be divided into two classes:

  • Drugs that are medicinal in nature and
  • Drugs that are stimulating in nature.

“Abuse” means “to make a bad or wrong use of”. Another word that is used inter-changeably with the word, “abuse” is the word, “addiction”. Addiction means “the instance of being given to, habitually or compulsively”.

Flowing from the definitions of abuse and addiction it becomes clear that all kinds of drugs can be abused or addicted to. It has even now being found that other drugs like panadol, paracetamol are being abused by the Nigerian youth.

Few popular examples under the first category of drugs are panadol, paracetamol, etc. while drugs under the second category include ‘cannabis, Opium, synthetic “designer” drugs like Ecstasy, Codeine, Lizard Dung, Office Pins, Barbiturate derivatives, Benzodiazepines like Alprazolam, Diazepam, Amphetamines, Phenethylamine and Tryptamine derivatives; different forms of drugs are available for inducing euphoria,’ as set out by Usama Dandare in article titled, Codeine Abuse: Mis-Shaping The Future Of Nigerian Youths, published on www.abusidiqu.com.

This enlightening article also submits as follows: ‘the menace of drug abuse has now taken a formidable dimension whereby our youths indulged in a new modus of attaining a drug-induced stimulation ‘getting high’ and sorrowfully, the new dimension is nothing but that of “Codeine Phosphate” – a medication meant to cure cough and cold-related ailments but surprisingly, codeine has turned out to be a favourite euphoria to many.’

An article titled, Nigerian Youths In Search Of Intoxicated Substances: The Future In Danger, Published on www.thenigerianvoice.com, it is revealed that  ‘in recent years new substance of abuse such as vapour from pit latrine, gutter, and stagnant dirty water, excreta of animal (e.g lizard dung) is gaining popularity and being used by the children and adult to get high… People in the first categories(the elite) are much addicted to drug like cocaine amphetamine, depressant (barbiturate and alcohol). The middle class are more addicted to narcotics (heroin and morphine) and hallucinogen (cannabis, marijuana, LSD, codeine and alcohol) while the poor are identified with various forms substances ranging from ogogoro, glue, mandara sukudai, gegemu among others.’

In recent interview, Published http://www.thisdaylive.com, the former Director General, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Mr. Otunba Ipinmisho, revealed that ‘40% of Nigerian Youths Engage in Substance Abuse.’

It is a sobering day for me discussing this tip. I will like to rest here as we continue tomorrow. Do have an INSPIRED day.

The THINK Factor

What do you really think about what we discussed today? Do you really think this is a major problem among young people today? Take time to really reflect and share your thoughts in your S.A.F.E™ 4 YOU Personal Journal and share with your parents and other trusted caregivers and friends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 Straight Days of #SAFE4MEMovement Encounter on Drug Abuse: Day 1

DRUG ABUSE AND ALL THAT: A CALL FOR A DEEPER LOOK: AN INTRODUCTION

First, let me thank most profoundly Dr. Mrs. Yinka OGUNDE, one of the most committed persons to society and the well-being of our precious children, I know today, for bringing this matter to the fore again and inspiring me to put my pen to this digital paper despite my struggles with my health in the last 5 days.

In our Instructional materials: S.A.F.E™ 4 YOU presented to the public on November 20, 2017, at our Conference to mark the World Children’s Day, we dedicated 5(five) Tips on Drug Abuse and provided profound solutions to the issue, borne out of our many years of field experiences and results…

Permit me to declare upfront that our young people are tempted on all sides by all manner of vices and the list is becoming endless, and they include both popular and unpopular vices. Since we are not in their world, permit me to declare to you sadly that we may never know all the vices they are tempted with no matter how much try and if we will ever know, we will have to dedicate resources to deliberate research.

But one thing we must be clear about is that there is no one vice that is more deadly than the other…All vices that our children are tempted with today either reduces their God-given potentials or destroy same. It is important to note that there is no vice that the young people embrace in isolation. Once a young person is exposed to one vice, he/she finds himself or herself involved in many others.

That is why it is my personal philosophy to address all the vices together and trace then to one source, having worked with young people since 1997 when we start a drug and cult free clubs in secondary schools in Lagos State. The factors which make a young people to succumb to one vice is probably the factor that makes him/her to succumb to all, noting that if he/she can succumb to one, he/she may succumb to all.

It is my well-considered opinion that as many as these vices are, it will amount to chasing shadows to conclude that the vices are the real problem. The vices are not the real problem. I mean they are not the root. They are the fruits. The root and the real problem is the value system we inculcate or omit to inculcate in our precious children and young people. The real problem is our own value system as the handlers of these precious young ones as we can only always give what we have.

This is my argument also about the craze of our young people and the just concluded #BBNaija, where the show, without any positive moral content garnered 170 million votes and yet did not raise concern for many of us, who are genuinely concerned about the socialization of our precious young ones. What we condone or refuses to condone is as a result of our DOMINANT VALUE SYSTM and SOCIAL NORM. Also, what a society rewards, it multiples.

Honestly, I do not think it is going to get better in this ravaging post-truth global culture, where populism is the measurement of what is right and morality has been flung out of the windows of human conducts and interactions.

Another real problem, which is also traceable to our value system, is how we treat our precious young people. We often subject them to sundry forms of abuse. The first impact of abuse is to dehumanise. What is does it mean to dehumanise? ‘Make Somebody Less Human: to make somebody less human by taking away his or her individuality, the creative and interesting aspects of his or her personaility, or his or her compassion and sensitivity towards others’ (Microsoft® Encarta® 2009)

So in most cases, engagement of our precious young people in the vices we are concerned about is traceable to reaction to abuse. It is also important to note that one of the attributes a precious young person needs to confront and repel vices is resilience. Now, it is this resilience that abuses (physical, emotional, sexual and neglect) attack. Never expect a promising and precious young person, whose self-esteem completely depleted and who now lives in the shadow of himself/herself to resist any form of temptation to embrace a vice. In fact such young person goes in search of what vice to embrace since his life has no meaning and compass by the way he/she has been treated or ill-treated.

Thus our solution, which began with the release of our Instructional material is to help our young people and their caregivers to develop moral stamina through the inculcation of what we call the POSITVE VALUE SYSTEM. And what is this POSITVE VALUE SYSTEM? It is simply appealing to our basic sense of what is right or wrong, first according to common sense and second according to obvious moral code of human existence and interactions, with a commitment to always considering the consequences of our actions and omission to self, immediate family, community and the world at large.

The foregoing is the wisdom behind our #SAFE4MEMovement, which slogan is #VALUERevolution, which we are kicking off on May 25 and 26, 2018 to mark this year’s Children’s Day celebration.

Please note that from today, Friday, April 27, 2018, I shall be sharing on here daily all the 5 nuggets shared in the instructional materials mentioned above.

Permit me therefore to begin to share with you the 5 nuggets from tomorrow.

Please young people join me tomorrow and invite your friends.

Thank you…Welcome to a #VALUERevolution.

Do have an INSPIRED day.

#BBNaija: A REFLECTION OF OUR DOMINANT VALUE SYSTEM?

I have wondered since this #BBNNaija began few years ago what lesson the organizers seek to teach the participating and the viewing young and old people…

Every show reality or otherwise has a clear message from the creator and the media is a medium by which such message is adumbrated and democratised.

Again before the promoter of a show nvests in a medium, they do a marker survey to determine the viewing habits of the target audience…They would not like to invest in the entire process and discover that nobody is watching…The media contents a people are fed with are therefore a perceived or confirmed understanding of the people’s viewing habit. A people’s view habit is a function of their value system…

The devotion of many people, including notable figures to the viewing, voting and promotion of #BBNaija, to the point of gathering a total of 30 million votes in one week, which is considered bigger that the total number of votes that brought Buhari in in 2015 and putting the total number of votes gathered throughout the period of the show at 170 million is a clear picture of our priority and value system as a people…

The story was even told of a state government, who funded people to vote during #BBNaija2017

The silence of many people too, who neither spoke for against the show is also a reflection of the point made above.

In my opinion, a nation and a people who lose their moral edge and invest their time, energy and resources in a venture, which add no value to the social and technological advancement of its young population is on its way to extinction.

A nation which doesn’t invest in the social and political consciousness of her people, particularly the young and agile but inundates them with shallowness and vanity, labelling it arts and entertainment is kind of doomed, if it does not retrace her steps.

A nation which does not believe in creating shows, reality or otherwise, which expands the minds of her people and increase their gravitation towards intellectual discourse, the foundational tool of positive development has signed up for nothing but backwardness.

A nation where people’s proclaimed faith has no impact on their value system, has lost the moral battle before it began.

The implication of the foregoing that a nation or a people multiple the habit and value system they actively or passively reward…The minority who takes a stand for contrary habits and value system are often tempted to feel awkward and outdated…

For those of us, who are not in support of the decadence presented to us and our young people as entertainment in form of music, film and shows like #BBNaija must never be quiet…We may be the voices from the fringe but not the forgotten voices…We are still voices of reason that may be unpopular…Last year I did a major piece on #BBNaija which I published on my blog www.taiwoakinlamiblog.com. I have made it a point of duty to raise my voice against those who expose children to contents created for adults…

We just have to keep working and speaking from the fringe until same becomes a voices in the front burner. And if it never comes the the front burner, we would have reached some and answer the dictates of our conscience and positive value system. Our voices from the fringe today may provide an motivation for the generations yet unborn to pursue change in this direction…In a ravaging post truth culture, where populism has become the vehicle by which all kinds of agenda, particularly the most senseless are pushed, our voices must be more vociferous in declaring that the fact that an agenda is popular doesn’t make it right.

Thank you at Mrs RonkePosh Adeniyi Le Poshe for inspiring this write-up this early Monday morning…It is a worthy disruption to an already articulated beginning of week.

Do have an INSPIRED week all.

I am Taiwo AKINLAMI and I Speak for the Precious AFRICAN CHILD

BILLY GRAHAM: GOD SENT…FAMILY NURTURED…HUMANITY’S BLESSING

William Franklin Graham Jr. passed unto glory on February 21, 2018 at the ripe age of 99. Today I write a tribute as lessons to learn from the glorious life of an icon of faith and service to humanity.

On Sunday, February 16, 1997, I began my pilgrimage of change and I believe it is a pilgrimage of a lifetime. Before then I had experienced erased childhood and my erased childhood, of necessity birthed empty adulthood.

One of the most profound lessons of my change pilgrimage to date is that socialization is superior to psychology. I found that we are always as strong or weak as our upbringing. Everybody is a product of his/her childhood. It takes God and God alone to help restore to meaningful adulthood, erased childhood.

The foregoing lesson drives me almost uncontrollably to collect and read biographies of both heroes and villains. I am an addicted collector of biographies and I think I am paying my dues in devouring many of the ones I have collected. My first interest in biographies is the making of the person, whose life it conveys and the lesson I can learn therefrom.

Few years ago, as a wedding gift, a couple gifted my wife and I, Billy Graham’s autobiography, ‘JUST AS I AM.’ It is a massive piece of work, where he shared about life, family, childhood, private life, ministries and many other matters of interest to him.

The autobiography is of many pages expectedly, but that was not any discouragement for me to begin to devour it. While others may see many pages of a book, I saw many layers of priceless treasures coming to me as one-stop compendium of living wisdom. Pronto, I dived into the material and of a truth, it was a bountiful harvest of invaluable treasures. I have in the last eleven years kept them safely for personal instructions and teaching materials for many.

As this icon of faith and service to humanity passes into God’s glory, I feel there is no better way to pay a tribute to him than to share with us priceless lessons from his glorious legacy. What is Billy Graham’s legacy? He summed it up thus, ‘the greatest legacy one can pass on to one’s children and grandchildren is not money or other material things accumulated in one’s life, but rather a legacy of character and faith.’

Reading, his autobiography, I can categorically say to you that Billy Graham was a priceless gift from God, deposited into a balanced Christian home and presented by that home as an invaluable blessing to the world. It is my belief that God does not give a child to the world. He gives children to families. Families present the children to the world as a gift or menace, depending their stability or instability. The foundation of Billy Graham’s legacy that we all celebrate today was laid in a functional Christian home. His parents deliberately sowed the seed of greatness, which became a mighty forest from which his world, beginning from his immediate family came to take fortified refuge.

Billy Graham shared with us the foundation of his faith in these words: ‘when they (my parents) read the family Bible in our home, they were not simply going through a pious ritual. Mother told us that they had established a family altar with daily Bible reading the very first day they were married. They accepted that book as the very Word of God, seeking and getting heavenly help to keep the family together.

He concluded thus, every time my mother prayed with one of us, and every time my parents prayed for their sons and daughters, they were declaring their dependence on God for the wisdom and strength and courage to stay in control of life, no matter what circumstances might bring. Beyond that, they prayed for their children, that they might come into the kingdom of God.’

He further shared in his autobiography the role his parents play in building deliberately mental and spiritual capacity: ‘at home, from my earliest years, Mother encouraged me in the habit of reading. The exploits of Robin Hood in Sherwood Forest entranced me. I read the whole Tom Swift series, and the Rover Boys. Among my favorite adventure reading were the Tarzan books; they came out every few months. I could hardly wait for the next one to be issued, and my mother would always buy it for me…’

He continues, ‘Mother saw to it that there was more serious reading too. Before I was ten, she had made me memorize the Westminster [Presbyterian] Shorter Catechism. Once I was visiting an aunt who ordered us to spend sometime reading the Bible. In about ten minutes, I went back to her and boasted, “I just read a whole book in the Bible.” She thought I was a remarkable boy. [I had discovered the epistle of Jude, the shortest book in the New Testament. One page! Mother also prodded me to read The Book of Knowledge, an encyclopedia.’            

He shared about the balanced relationship between him and his parents in many pages of the autobiography and how his parents helped him to develop independent of thoughts and gaining sense of responsibility from youth. Permit me to share with you some incisive extracts. He revealed, ‘while my parents were swift to punish when punishment was deserved, they did not overload me with arbitrary regulations that were impossible to respect. In fact, they were open. My parents never once told me to be in a certain time when I went out on a Friday or Saturday night date. I knew that I had to be up by three in the morning and that if I stayed out past midnight I would get only a couple of hours of sleep.’

Billy revealed to us that child discipline begins with teaching and not abuse. He debunked the popular belief that there is a thin line between child discipline and abuse. It is unfortunate that many have hidden under this unfounded but popular saying that there is a thin line between child discipline and abuse to perpetrate untold damage again the child physically and emotionally. Yet there is no thin line. Discipline and abuse are far poles apart, but many, who are untrained confuse the two and perpetuate the evil of child abuse in the name of child discipline. It is my humble opinion that as water and oil do not mix, so ABUSE and DISCIPLINE do not meet. I found comforting corroboration in the words of Billy Graham thus: ‘in all the strictness of my upbringing, there was no hint of child abuse.’  He further shed light on how the parents instilled discipline by communicating value, ‘I learned to obey without questioning. Lying, cheating, stealing, and property destruction were foreign to me. I was taught that laziness was one of the worst evils, and that there was dignity and honor in labor. I could abandon myself enthusiastically to milking the cows, cleaning out the latrines, and shovelling manure, not because they were pleasant jobs, certainly, but because sweaty labor held its own satisfaction.’

Billy Graham did not come from a perfect home. The truth of the matter is that no such home exists in our world today. He helped us to understand that parents may give in to their imperfection once in a while, but in the midst of such, they must learn to exercise caution, knowing that they are letters being read by their observing children as daily living manual. He revealed about his parents and their frailties, there had to have been tensions between Daddy and Mother from time to time that we children were not supposed to see. I suppose my parents occasionally disappointed each other, and certainly they sometimes disagreed about serious as well as trivial things, but in any quarrels between them (parents) that I witnessed, I never heard either of them use a word of profanity. My mother and father [mostly my mother] could storm at each other once in a while when provoked, but they weathered every tempest and sailed on, together.’

Space fails me to continue to expound on the life, times and lessons of Billy Graham. I however believe that I have shared some priceless lessons, which may serve as a guide for us as we relate with our children both as primary and secondary caregivers. It is my humble and honest prayer today that God will prepare us as families, equipped to raise godly seed to the glory of God and to the benefits of His humanity. I hope that the immeasurable blessings that the life of Billy Graham is to humanity will not only serve an inspiration to join me in saying amen to this prayers but to trust God for the wisdom to make the prayer a reality in our lives. Do have an INSPIRED day.
I am Taiwo ‘ODINAKACHUKWU’ AKINLAMI (The Preacher) and I Speak for the Precious African Child

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