Drugs, Alcohol and Nigerian Parents - Sammie .
7 July, 2017. \\ Admin

So, I am back again with a little piece on Nigerian parents. I was talking to someone a few days ago. Let’s call him Zee for the purpose of this piece. He was telling me about his previous escapades with weed in the past and He finished his story with “… but it is not something I want to do again”

Our conversation then diverted to Nigerian parents, and how fear is usually their main communication tool! They never say why something might be harmful to you; they just use the fear of something, or some sort of punishment to stop you from doing a thing. For example. When they want to get you to abstain from sex, they tell you, you will get aids or you will get pregnant. As if aids is only contracted from sex and pregnancy is a bad thing, lol. I mean, they are true but only to a limited extent. They are not the absolute truths.

Personally, I think the worst of all is alcohol. I do not know about you guys, but I grew up in a home where drinking alcohol was a taboo. Yet no one could ever tell me why. They just said it was wrong. Why it was wrong, up until today I do not know!

Now, this is not me bashing Nigerian parents in any way. I am Nigerian and I love my parents. However, it is me saying as Nigerians in general we need to do better when it comes to communication. We don’t like to talk about things like sex, drugs, alcohol, homosexuality, partying, mental health etc. We are very aware they are going on, we often times indulge in them, but talking about them is an issue. What we fail to see is that, awareness is a powerful preventative tool.

When I first moved out of Nigeria to study, the first thing that struck me was the fact that all my friends were very aware and so were their parents. My friends knew how to take care of themselves on a night out. They would party like crazy, but they were always looking out for each other.

I remember hearing them talk about how one time they could not get a taxi back from a club one evening and they called one of their mothers’ and she drove down to the club and picked them up at like 3am in the morning. In my mind I was like, Imagine if it was my mother! Lol, I might as well start walking home!

What I have learnt from living in the west is this, talking about things is much better than 1) pretending they don’t exist 2) deciding your opinion on an issue is the only one that matters and 3) using fear as a teaching tool.

Communication might not stop people from doing drugs, and what not, but it will definitely give them an idea of what they are walking into before they start. It also lets them decide for themselves, which I think people, especially young people respect.

Knowledge is power. For all the people out there who are sexually active, use drugs, drink alcohol and party every night, no, I am not telling you to stop (I don’t care that much!) I am however suggesting that if you are not “aware” of the side effects of what you are doing, or of how to minimise certain side effects, or even how to get the most out of what you are doing without killing yourself, maybe you should invest some time in finding out. Prevention is always better than cure!

Disclaimer: I am in no way promoting living a careless life! I am just saying knowledge is power, and if you are going to indulge in something, do you research first!

Words by Sammie

The Editor.

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