A city school in Mumbai, for the first time, is adopting a policy, which will work towards the detection of the drugs and alcohol in the bags of the school kids.
SM Shetty High School and Junior College in Powai, which will soon be adopting this policy, states, “The policy’s aim is to respond with support to those whose use of drugs and other addictive substances interferes with their academic performance. It will also seek to promote a climate in which students can seek help if they are in distress from their own or others’ use of drugs and alcohol.”
All the schools have in past been working towards making sure that the use of drugs and alcohol is limited, but they never had any policy in place. With this policy in place now, the school will focus on making sure that the students are not into this practice.
Dr. Anjali Chhabria, said, “ But some international schools conduct surprise urine tests with parents’ consent. Tests can determine the presence of 14-15 drugs in urine. They may show positive for about one to six weeks depending on the drug and quantity ingested. This is done as a precautionary measure in some schools.” Few of the schools are working towards this now.
Jayaram Shetty, the trustee of the school said that it is very important to catch these students young and spread the message. They will also start a “Be smart, Don’t start” programme. This programme will focus on making these students aware that drugs only bring temporary happiness but if we consider the long term effects it has, it will only damage your brain and nothing else. The policy was drawn only after meeting with parents and their children. The school has made sure to consider parents and teacher while drawing the plan for this policy. Though parents do feel that kids use drugs only between the age group of 15 to 25, but teachers have something else to say in this regard, they believe that kids start at a very early age.
Dr. Harish Shetty, a psychiatrist, said, “The age of onset of the substance abuse has certainly come down in recent years. Children read about the effects of narcotic substances on the internet and seek it out.’
He also said, “Many schools usually end up suspending students after they find a banned substance with them. “These children need counseling. Many students who take to drugs go through emotional and mental trauma.”
A lot of schools have been conducting various seminars and workshops to make students aware about the same.