What Parents Should Know About Drugs!
by Connie Martin
Unfortunately there is no magic immunity from exposure to the ills of society such as drugs. The Mosque Foundation January English Program sought to educate parents about this growing problem of drug use among youth. Representatives of the Arab American Police Association presented a startling view into the causes of drug use, who is vulnerable to drug use, signs of drug use, and the many types of drugs easily accessible to youth.
Sgt. Nizar Hasan, an Illinois State Police Officer and President of the Arab American Police Association provoked a gasp from the audience when he stated that 50% of 13 years olds reported that they knew where to purchase marijuana, the most commonly abused drug of choice in the United States. Another alarming report states that 1 in 5 8th graders reported being regular marijuana users.
Bajis Karim, a Burbank Police Officer and member of the SWAT Team, presented a grim look into the downward spiral of drug addiction. The use of narcotics such as cocaine and heroin leads to many serious health risks including death by overdose, and usually leads to more criminal activities in order to support the cost of maintaining the addiction.
Morad Haleem, a Chicago Police Detective, presented the legal repercussions of drug possession, including the liability of parents for their teenager's drug arrest. Officer Haleem also showed props of drugs and drug paraphernalia that most parents had never seen up close.
Although each officer shared shocking accounts of real drug addiction tragedies from within our own community, we must not forget that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Help is available at many facilities throughout the Chicago area, even for the most hardcore addictions.
A special thanks to the Arab American Police Association for their eye opening presentation.