Muscat: “Life is wonderful... Don’t spoil it with drugs.” This is a motto written on the side of a bus parked at the Muscat Festival in Al Amerat Park, where representatives of the Royal Oman Police (ROP) can be seen providing information to visitors about drug addiction.
In a laudable initiative, several sections are displayed in the bus, featuring various types of chemical, natural and industrial substances.
The bus also provides a platform for visitors to get to know some of the methods used by drug smugglers for drug trafficking, as well as some of the items that can give parents a clue about possible drug abuse by their children. Some sections also show the harmful impact of drugs on different body organs, including the liver, kidneys, heart, brain and skin.
Informative material is being distributed among visitors, in which various aspects of drug abuse and the important role of the family, school, media and the society in drug prevention, treatment and rehabilitation have been emphasised.
In the brochures, it has been mentioned that drug abuse not only affects the addict, but the family and society, as well.
People are advised to keep good company, resist peer pressure, avoid smoking and refrain from taking any substances that they do not know about when offered.
Parents are advised to act good role models, keep a watchful eye on their children, explain the devastating effects of drug abuse to them patiently and seek help from experts when necessary.
The ROP’s brochures also discuss the smokeless varieties of tobacco and their harmful effects, as well as abuse of psychotropic substances. People have been warned that abusing drugs for pleasure, ecstasy and amusement will lead to addiction.
In one of the brochures, the issue of addiction to sniffing volatile solvents has been discussed, which may be less known to the public. It says that sniffing volatile solvents in petrol, glue, paint, spray and shoe polish is rampant among teenagers and youngsters in many societies and has become a global menace.
These solvents and gases are a set of chemicals, which are merely used for industrial and domestic purposes. It is very hard to identify their lethal effects, but their abuse may have an immediate impact on an addict’s body and mind.
Sniffing these gases is an unusual behaviour and their abuse may cause swift poisoning without the addict being aware of it.
These materials affect many organs in the human body, notably the liver, kidneys, bone marrow and the neurological system.
According to ROP, most teenagers using these solvents do so without their parents’ knowledge.
If parents find out that the child is sniffing solvents, they should remain calm and explain its harmful effects and get help from experts if necessary. Parents are advised to monitor any changes in their children, notably an increase in bad breath, lethargy, lack of concentration and rashes around the mouth.