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LET'S TALK LIFE ...High on drugs

Published:Saturday | January 9, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Yvonnie Bailey- Davidson

Dear counsellor:

My daughter who is 25 years old is having a drug problem. She takes ganja and cocaine. She roams the street, can't keep a job and sells my household goods. I need some help for her.

- Rose

Dear Rose:

Substance abuse and misuse is a problem in Jamaica. Many people, old and young, get caught in the web of deceit to maintain their drug habits. There are treatment facilities to help people kick the drug habit.

Cocaine is highly addictive and causes the users to do illegal things. The individual needs to be detoxified, meaning the drug needs to be cleared from the body. Most users need the help of others to get clean. To stay clean from drugs, individuals need to avoid the people, places and things that encourage the use of drugs. This is easier said than done because Jamaica is a small place. Abstaining from drugs is the key to controlling one's self as it pertains to drug use. People use drugs to soothe their sorrows and stress. Self-medication is popular with people as they think that they are being independent. Drug use usually starts out as a minor issue, being introduced by friends or family.

Cocaine can cause various medical problems, as well as psychological problems. Some individuals become afraid, panicky and have auditory or tactile hallucinations. Many individuals start the use of drugs to calm anxiety and depression, as well as to cope with life's challenges. Individuals need coping strategies to deal with the trials and problems of daily life. We need to celebrate our success and triumph over failures. Failures are temporary setbacks and we need to look positively to the failure. One needs to assess one's strength and achievements.

difficult to discontinue

Individuals can successfully kick the drug habit and should endeavour to do so. People should not experiment with substances of abuse because they are very addictive and it will be difficult to discontinue the use of these drugs. The lives of many people have been ruined because of drugs and this should be a lesson to others not to try drugs.

Single mother

Dear counsellor:

I am having problems coping in this economic crisis. Sometimes I cry and at other times I get angry. I have four children and I am a single mother.

- May

Dear May:

Life is stressful all the time. You need to view this economic time as a normal part of life. Prices are always rising and jobs are hard to find. If you focus on saying that these are terrible times, you will become negative and reactive instead of being positive and proactive.

I don't know what your qualifications are, but we all need to keep ourselves current and up-to-date. Therefore, you need to attend courses and seminars. It is good to get information on teaching, administration, and research and information technology. In these times you have to be a self-learner, so buy a book on these topics and read. A part of your budget should be devoted to self-improvement. Learning on the job about the various aspects of the work. These activities will put you in good stead for promotion and or a raise in pay.

Shopping for food, clothing and other items can be made easy by using the telephone directory. You can call various shops for the prices of certain goods and so compare prices. Buy ground provisions, fruits and vegetables in the market where it is cheaper. Shop at discount stores or wholesale shops. Have a storage area at home for groceries and toiletries. If it's wholesale, then shop in bulk (three or more items).

Maybe you can learn dressmaking and drapery making so you can have clothes and curtains. Let the children share clothing and other items. Sharing encourages children to be cooperative and to take care of the belongings of others.

Try to save a little something each month, as you have to prepare for retirement.

Dr Yvonnie Bailey-Davidson. Tel: 978-8602, Email: