PROTOCOL,

I feel highly honoured to be invited to deliver the keynote address  at this  great event where we are here to reorientate our youths on the  dangers of  drug abuses and social vices. We are also going to launch the moral   comic series developed  by a young  patriotic Nigerian. The topic of discourse is apt in time.

“PARENTS AND RISING CASES OF SOCIAL VICES  AMONG THE YOUTH”.

I want to congratulate the convener of this great event, Mr Nureni Bakare, who is a dynamic  young man driven by the passion to make a difference in him community. I also want to congratulate all of us for  attending today’s event.

Youth is the time of life when one is young, often means the time between childhood and adulthood. Youth is defined as the appearance, freshness, vigor, spirit etc the characteristics  of one who is young.

Around the world, Youth, adolescent, teenager, young person are interchanged, often meaning the same thing, but they are occasionally differentiated. Youth can be referred to as the time of life when one is young. This involves childhood and the time  of life which is neither childhood and adulthood.

According to  the United Nations, youth is defined as  persons between the ages of 15 and 24years.  It is the time of a person’s life in which he/she makes  choices which can  affect his/her future.  In Nigeria, youth include all members of the Federal Republic of  Nigeria aged between 18 – 35years

It is rare to find a school, community or an institution devoid of social vices “Vice” is a Latin word ‘vitium’ meaning “defect” or “failing”. Vice  is defined as a bad habit or immoral activities. Social vices are bad traits, unhealthy and negative behaviours that are against the morality of a society and frowned at by members of the society.  Examples of social vices  include prostitution, indecent dressing, robbery, cultism, pocket picking, drug abuse (Tramadol/Codeine), drug addiction, use of marijuana,  examination malpractices, hooliganism, thuggery, gambling, smoking,  alcoholism, murder, pre-marital sexual activities,  gambling and rape.

There are numerous factors  responsible for the social vices.  They include peer pressure,  Parental negligence, Broken home, lack of parental care, supervision, attention, Not exclusively breastfed, Breakdown of the extended family system, lack of a strong parent and child relationship, Youth unemployment, Lack of Religious education and culture, Negative side of technology.

The effects of these  social vices can be seen among the users, Family and the Society at large.

Alcohol –  is a drug as surely as cocaine and marijuana. It is illegal to drink alcohol under the age of 18years. Young persons who drink alcohol are more likely to be victims of violent crime, have serious problems in school, be involved in drink related  road accidents.  Similarly,  the mental, physical, academic  and moral aspects of the individual will be affected negatively. Problems with memory and learning, distorted perception (sights, sounds, time, touch), trouble with thinking and problem solving, loss coordination and increased heart rate.  Others include, poor academic performance, consequently dropping out of school, deterioration in the health of  the users of hard drugs, mental disorders, sexually transmitted infections, teenage pregnancy, abortions etc.

The image of family can be tarnished, destabilize the peace of the household, separation, divorce and consequences – broken home with its attendant negative effects on the children. The health of the parents can be affected too – anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, stroke and death.

Consequences of social vices also affect the society’s image leading to insecurity,  investors and foreigners become scared to invest in the country. Leading to fewer industries and companies – unemployment – thus the vicious cycle continues leading to inhibition of growth and development.

Solutions/Recommendations

Social vices should be prevented  at an early stage in life.

  • Establish a loving, trusting relationship with your child.
  • Parents have a major role to play Make it easy for your teenager to talk honestly with you.
  • Keep a watch on your young teenager’s activities, and join with other parents in making common policies about teenage use of alcohol or drugs
  • Develop family rules about teenage drinking and establish consequences.
  • Set a good example regarding our own alcohol use and your response to teenage drinking.
  • Encourage your child to develop healthy friendships and other alternatives to drinking.
  • Know the warning signs of a teenage drinking problem and act promptly to get help for your child.
  • Believe in your own power to help your child avoid alcohol or drug use
  • Close monitoring and supervision of the children
  • Teach moral values and the word of God.
  • Celebrate good role models – Not people with questionable characters.
  • Regular organization of sensitization seminars  on the types and  consequences of  the social vices.

Government – Appropriate policies to guide sales and marketing of  prescription drugs. Prescription drugs should be closely monitored.

Warning signs of a drinking problem or use of hard drugs

  • Mood changes: flare-ups of temper, irritability and defensiveness
  • School problems: poor attendance, low grades, and or recent disciplinary action
  • Rebelling against family rules
  • Switching friends, along with a reluctance to have you get to know the new friends.
  • Physical or mental problems: memory lapses, poor concentration, bloodshot eyes, lack of coordination or slurred speech.

Ladies and gentlemen, everyone has a role to play in ensuring that the teenagers do not engage in social vices, through effective relationship building, upholding high moral values and frequent sensitization sessions.

Thank you for your attention

Itesiwaju ipinle  eko lo je wa logun!!!!

Dr Omowunmi Bakare

Consultant Public Health Physician

28th December, 2017

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