Children and adults of all ages can beaffected by substance abuse. With the progress of addiction, the individualbecomes physically dependent on it and usually experiences withdrawal if theytry to quit the habit. Here are somesteps which might be helpful for anyone who wants to guide a child to come outof addiction.
1. If anyone, other than theparent, suspects that a child is addicted to any kind of substance, first andforemost inform the parents.2. Parents/guardians need to talkto the child. Parents, however, should not get angry while talking to thechild. They need to be calm and have the conversation with empathy.
3. After knowing the details,parents need to set firm limits for them. Here are some points to remember:a. Initially the child will beangry when limits are placed. But as aparent, one needs to be calm. Corporal punishment will not help in thissituation.
b. Set the limits clearly – forexample, tell the child that he will not get the phone if he doesn’t come homeat a certain time or he will not get help if he is ever caught by the police.c. There will be resistance by thechild initially in following the rules. Every day the child needs to bereminded of the dangerous consequences of substance abuse.
d. Do not give money at all or ifnecessary, give money on daily basis. Keep a check of the money spent by thechild.e. Praise the child when he/shefollows the rules.4.
Professional treatment is mustfor getting anyone out of addiction. 5. Along with the parents, teacheror any other individual who knows the child can play an active role in helpingto get the child out of addiction. They can regularly tell the kid about thewrong effects of substance abuse and make him/her understand the consequencesof it.
6. In Kolkata, there are number ofde-addiction centres where one can be admitted if necessary. Usually, thesetreatments span from four to six months. 7. Even after the treatment isover, it is very important to keep the child under supervision so that he/shedoesn’t fall into the trap of addiction once again. In case ofaddicted street children, one can contact ChildWelfare Committee (CWC), Kolkata to get help. As per Juvenile Justice (Careand Protection of Children) Act 2000 (amended in 2006), State governments needto establish one or two CWC per district.
If child is brought before the ChildLine committee, it usually sends the patient to children’s home for treatmentand regular reports are submitted by the probation officer. The purpose of CWSis to find a safe home and environment for the child. A final order is to begiven within four months of the child’s admission. To contact CWC:a) Call the toll-free number 1098. b) Tell your location and details of the child.c) You will be contacted to one of the CWC offices. d) You will get an appointment when the child needs to appear beforethe CWC committee. One of the parents should accompany the child.
If parentsare not present, then the local guardian of the child should go. AADHAR card ofthe child is required. If AADHAR not available, then ask the CWC personnel whatidentity proof will suffice.e) An application in white paper to be submitted to the Chairperson toseek help for the addicted child when the meeting is held.
f) CWC members will suggest children’s home for rehabilitation program.