There’s no doubt that Hawaii is plagued with the problem of substance abuse, particularly crystal methamphetamine, popularly known as ice. It is not enough just to talk about the problem. We should implement specific action plans addressing the issue. There are several programs of the government and other organizations which are aimed at preventing and curtailing the drug epidemic like DARE, Maui Drug Court and rehabilitation centers. These agencies are actively involved in informing and disseminating to the public, particularly the youth, facts about the effects of drugs on their life and future.
The Filipino community is no exception to this problem. Commonly called by its street name as “bato” or “shabu,” this substance has adversely affected many lives and resulted in divorce and broken families. It’s sad to say that there are even kids who are being abandoned because of this situation.
While there is a lot of help available, the best persons who can shape and mold a person are their parents. Parents play a key role in drug prevention. They are given the responsibility of overseeing the welfare and well-being of their offspring. They are there to support them not only during times of distress but all the time. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done.
Make and spend time with your children. Develop that bond of communication and friendship with them. While it is necessary to provide them with material things, (that’s why it is inevitable to have two or three jobs) the intangible rewards that you reap by spending quality time with them, will far exceed the tangible benefits.
Being pro-active and participating in their daily activities assures them of a wholesome interaction.
Let them be involved with sports and other worthwhile activities in the community. In so doing, they are most likely not to wander around and meet the wrong persons.
Most importantly, tell and show them that they are loved and cared for.
Aloha and Mabuhay!