Shield our tomorrow

By: Editorial February 04,2018 - 09:49 PM

Better late than never, the programs initiated by the Cebu provincial government to stem the tide of youths seeking pleasure or refuge from the storms of life in illegal drugs deserves the support of all concerned.

All the more so because of the report that the number of young people who have fallen to drug addiction has risen in the province.

This spike in the statistics in the second year of the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte is yet another testimony against the gunpowder approach that errant law enforcers have resorted to with gusto in executing his anti-drug crackdown.

The Capitol has counted 1,864 more minors as having surrendered to them in 2017, at least 452 more than in their 2016 tally.

On top of programs to rehabilitate persons with substance abuse disorders, the Cebu provincial government also has programs enjoining families and schools in addressing the drug problem.

These programs need the firm backing of school administrators and other persons such as chaplains and campus ministers, guidance counselors and peer facilitators.

The police and other law enforcers should recognize in the figures released by Cebu province the limits of their criminological paradigm for banishing the drug menace.

If addiction is a manifestation of despair, a way of living dangerously, the prospect of perishing by being shot or of languishing behind bars for an indefinite period might not be effective tactics against drug users.

We hope the programs of the government and supportive institutions enable all who care about our children and their future to revisit important questions pertaining to substance abuse.

Are our homes accepting enough of our children so that they feel a sense of belonging there instead of looking for alternatives among peers who negatively influence them?

Are our teachers loving enough to be sensitive especially to students who struggle in their studies or are frequently absent — the underperformers who are likely to find in illegal drugs a false remedy to their problems?

Are households equipped to teach the meaning of genuine friendship to our kids, so that they will be convinced that every association that opens them to vice is not friendship at all?

Are opportunities for young people to use their skills and talents, in sports, art, spirituality, volunteerism being opened and sustained so that they find meaningful and fulfilling ways of spending their time early in life?

Law enforcement can only do so much to the demand side of our illegal drug woes. Let us shield our young from the ache for drugs. Let us as a community relearn that old nugget of wisdom: prevention trumps rehabilitation.

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