Children and adults of all ages can be
affected by substance abuse. With the progress of addiction, the individual
becomes physically dependent on it and usually experiences withdrawal if they
try to quit the habit. Here are some
steps which might be helpful for anyone who wants to guide a child to come out
If anyone, other than the
parent, suspects that a child is addicted to any kind of substance, first and
foremost inform the parents.
Parents/guardians need to talk
to the child. Parents, however, should not get angry while talking to the
child. They need to be calm and have the conversation with empathy.
After knowing the details,
parents need to set firm limits for them. Here are some points to remember:
Initially the child will be
angry when limits are placed. But as a
parent, one needs to be calm. Corporal punishment will not help in this
Set the limits clearly – for
example, tell the child that he will not get the phone if he doesn’t come home
at a certain time or he will not get help if he is ever caught by the police.
There will be resistance by the
child initially in following the rules. Every day the child needs to be
reminded of the dangerous consequences of substance abuse.
Do not give money at all or if
necessary, give money on daily basis. Keep a check of the money spent by the
Praise the child when he/she
follows the rules.
Professional treatment is must
for getting anyone out of addiction.
Along with the parents, teacher
or any other individual who knows the child can play an active role in helping
to get the child out of addiction. They can regularly tell the kid about the
wrong effects of substance abuse and make him/her understand the consequences
In Kolkata, there are number of
de-addiction centres where one can be admitted if necessary. Usually, these
treatments span from four to six months.
Even after the treatment is
over, it is very important to keep the child under supervision so that he/she
doesn’t fall into the trap of addiction once again.
In case of
addicted street children, one can contact Child
Welfare Committee (CWC), Kolkata to get help. As per Juvenile Justice (Care
and Protection of Children) Act 2000 (amended in 2006), State governments need
to establish one or two CWC per district. If child is brought before the Child
Line committee, it usually sends the patient to children’s home for treatment
and regular reports are submitted by the probation officer. The purpose of CWS
is to find a safe home and environment for the child. A final order is to be
given 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 before
the CWC committee. One of the parents should accompany the child. If parents
are not present, then the local guardian of the child should go. AADHAR card of
the child is required. If AADHAR not available, then ask the CWC personnel what
identity proof will suffice.
e) An application in white paper to be submitted to the Chairperson to
seek help for the addicted child when the meeting is held.
f) CWC members will suggest children’s home for rehabilitation program.