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Drug Abuse Police share telltale signs

16 Mar 2023

No family is immune to the drug abuse problem that continues to plague Botswana, as more and more young people fall into its trap. 

But there are tell-tales, which may help parents to yank their children from the perilous route of addiction, says Francistown Police Narcotics, Fauna and Flora Investigations (NFFI) Unit’s detective sergeant Masego Modibedi. 

She was speaking at a dialogue session on drug use hosted by the First Lady Ms Neo Masisi here recently. Parents, she said, should look out for the following in the behaviour of their children and their environment: Change of character, behavior, loss of manners, retaliation, being overly defensive; irregular sleeping patterns and times; excessive or too little appetite; strange dressing habits with boys often sagging their trousers (wearing them significantly below the waistline), and girls showing off a little too much of their body; red eyes, and lip discolouration (ditatswa.) 

A child into drugs would continually or constantly change friends, keep appearing and disappearing from home as they constantly had to go and sniff or puff to satisfy their craving, she said. 

In the house or/and their children’s bags, parents should look out for small shining plastic packages with greenish residue, dagga seeds or white powder; small papers made into straws or actual straws, which she said they used for sniffing; As children were becoming aware that parents were observing them, they devised ways of hiding drugs, especially where they were the ones selling to other pupils. Belts, ties and bag straps became choice hiding places. 

“So, you need to examine these,” she said. 

But parents should also be careful not to give their children money unnecessarily as they tended to use it to buy drugs at school. 

“Although they have meals at school, you give them more than enough money,” she said, adding the children often pooled together to raise more monies to buy drugs. 

Limiting the amount of money you gave to your child and observing their behaviour to ensure they have no drugs on their bags and belts was not enough, said detective sergeant Modibedi.

“There are some detergents at home that they use for drugs. 

These include nail polish, glue, methylated spirits, thinners and others which they mix with bread to share with friends at school,” she said. 

On how the children became addicted to drugs, detective sergeant Modibedi said some started off experimenting. “Some started off by finishing stubs left by users, others took advantage of being sent by parents to buy drugs, which gave them unfettered access to the drugs,” she said. 

Detective sergeant Modibedi said as the police they were greatly concerned about use of illicit drugs, especially by young people, adding in most cases, learners were merely peddling the drugs for someone older. 

However, she said, such children often refused to tell the source of their drugs, and urged parents, teachers and other stakeholders to work together with the police to identify and report peddlers and users. Ends

Source : BOPA

Author : Goweditswe Kome


Event : Dialogue session

Date : 16 Mar 2023