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POSITIVE CONVERSE CHAPTER-3” showcased the reality about substance use among youth

POSITIVE THOUGHTS CONSULTING & TRAINING SOLUTIONS presents the third episode of its Panel Discussion named “POSITIVE CONVERSE CHAPTER-3” on 21ST NOV,21, 6:00 PM IST through ZOOM as well as showcased on “FACEBOOK LIVE” on the official page of “POSITIVE THOUGHTS”.

“Positive Thoughts Family” is a Global community from PAN India and almost 45 Worldwide countries, on a mission to learn, connect, share, and bridge the gap between Brands/Organizations/Nations and work on the Mission of Empowerment for” STRESS-FREE EDUCATION & LIFE.”

It was started by the introduction of “Dr Gaurav Sharma” who is a well known and respected Multi-Award Winning Motivational Speaker, Life Coach & Social Activist. Founder & CEO, Positive Thoughts Consulting & Training Solutions. Co-Founder, 28 Credentials of Entrepreneur, Malaysia.

This Elite Executive community is for all the like-minded positive Speakers, Trainers, Coaches, Educators, Healers, Authors and Entrepreneurs from all across the globe, who wants to Share, Inspire, and help each other to grow their successes together by empowering one another.

3rd session of POSITIVE CONVERSE by Positive Thoughts was an incredible, insightful, informative, interesting and houseful blockbuster session with participation from all across the globe on the topic -SUBSTANCE USE AMONG YOUTH.

This session has provided an in-depth about the stigma and assumptions about youth substance use as well as the impact on brain development, psychological, social and emotional development and risk factors. Primary and secondary prevention strategies are discussed as well as their application.

The MASTER OF CEREMONY was two dynamic ladies - Ms Neha Srivastava- Soft Skill Trainer, Story Teller, Parenting Coach, Promotion Manager of Positive Thoughts and Ms Nidhi Behl Vats- Founder of Story of Souls, PR Expert, Influencer, Story Curator, Content Strategist.

The discussion was started with the first speaker, Ms Riddhi Doshi Patel. She is a qualified Child Psychologist, 3x TEDx Speaker and Advisor to 16 TED-Ed Clubs. She is the recipient of multiple awards including the National Award and Young Entrepreneur Award. She is the Founder of LAJA. She is also a qualified Trainer and has conducted Training Programs for Corporate, Individuals, Educational Institutes and NGOs.

According to her before we talk about the subject we have to understand the reason behind consumption and why. She explained that most of the children who are constantly compared or has a broken family are the victim of substance abuse as they look for relief or temporarily solution for their situation. Sometimes they are not even accepted by their family and peer group. She quoted many examples from her experiences explaining the above point like she was being approached by a 17 years old child along with her mother, according to her mother the child has a trust issue with a family member, bad food habits don’t meet or interact with anyone from his family and stays isolated most of the time. After lots of consultation, he opened about the reason for him taking the substance and the reason behind his behaviour was his father. As he was a marathon runner and same was expected from the son and of late he was forced to participate and was expected to stand first but unfortunately in class 2nd he participate in a race and lost it when he was back home and told his father. His father replied that he was a hopeless child. This tag got associated with his upbringing till age 17 even though he was a multimillionaire and have developed two mobile apps and sold it to an IT company. He was made to believe that he is hopeless and for him the easiest way to feel better was substance. Another reason which she explained was there are times when parents say it’s ok to try and experiment with everything but actually it’s not ok explaining, she sighted an example of a 12-year-old who wanted to host a hookah party at home which alarmed the parents then they consulted him, when she spoke with the child she got to know he was consuming it from the age 9 along with her sister who was 20 years old at that point of time and into party culture. The parents had no information about it, so at last, she left us with the question to ponder as a parent that is mindful about raising our child and be enough aware or alert about our child. Then our master of the ceremony has concluded the session of Ms Riddhi raising questions about correct parenting.

The second speaker Dr Tamilarasi - Naturopathy physician and post-graduation in emergency medicine and pursuing a fellowship in clinical research gave rich insights on the impact of substance use in the youth and the solutions to address this problem. She is a supportive care Oncologist, Ozone Therapist, Chelation Therapist, NLP Practitioner, Genetic Brain Profiling Consultant, Handwriting Analyst.

She is the first Intern Doctor from Indian medicine to step into the COVID ward with an experience of touching 93487 covid lives. She has done a few types of research on covid and pregnancy, covid and food, research on Nada Yoga.

Dr Tamilarasi said Youth is the Leaders of the nation and as such there are no unresourceful people only unresourceful situations or the environment which is the major reason for the youth getting misdirected.

At 11 / 12 yrs of age, the brain goes through a process wherein it is - Use it or lose it, so when these substances enter their body it impacts their prefrontal cortex – taking them in a world of delusion and suppression.

All teen brains are like cars – with accelerators and no breaks on a mad rush to attract and entice the opposite sex. Due to pressure also get into this habit. She emphasised how the mind of the youth is wired to give in to addiction, any new information which gives pleasure creates a memory that preserves tempting a child to do it repeatedly. Major organs like liver/kidney / get affected due to the consumption of substances like alcohol/ drugs/ cigarettes etc.

The solution is - Acceptance of the child, the situation and explanation to the child about what to do and not, What not to do. The unconscious mind will not process the word not, so explain what to do and why to do it.

She threw light on the importance of Acceptance as the primary cure. We have a biological clock / a circadian rhythm which needs to be used to help the child to break this habit. Empower the child, everything starts from the psychic phase, show the way of differentiation, start an action and leave it in middle –voluntarily breaking it drives the youth to revive that action - were some of the tips given by her. She also spoke about how we can detoxify by - encouraging them to adopt their hobby, sweat out with nature/sun, mild walk during sunrise or sunset will help them to get clarity about themselves.

Certain Patterns in yoga-like – Swadhyaya etc. encourage the youth to Surrender to the things they love. Ayurveda talks about the Unity of disease and cure -Reason will eliminate the disease- use that tool.

During adolescence, if indulging in substance use – hormones get disrupted and they become violent/abusive, develop a sense of “I am the power”. They go into dependency disorders mode due to this addiction. Positivity, warmth, love, care and unconditional acceptance are the interventions and solutions. She strongly recommended the book “Why do they act the way they do “- a book by David Walsh to get further insights and a must-read for all parents.

Next speaker was Ms. Tejal Vasa. She is the founder at Spirits of Life Training Consultants, Motivational Speaker, NLP practitioner, Corporate & Educational Consultant, Psychologist and Executive Vice President at Humanity First Foundation. She spoke about her observation about substance use among youth, according to her they want to feel freedom or want to seek attention or acknowledgement from society, parents or peer groups as the awareness is lacking among youth. When they consume substance the high or the kick which they get make them feel important. She shared that when she takes seminars in the college or school observed that the children mostly who are into substance abuse are those, whose parents don’t have time for them. They get dependent on the company they get into or friend circle so she suggested that parents need to pay attention to their daily routine and take responsibility for the child. It’s important to give them proper time and make them aware of the side effect by giving them actual examples around them to give a better understanding. She also suggested there should be an awareness program in the school and college.

The next speaker was Dr. (Prof.) Regunath Parakkal - Consultant – Counselling (Psychology), World Book of Records, London Record Holder, Former Prime Minister & Chief Minister Awardee, Featured in Times Square, New York, USA.

He opened his session with a rhetorical question to the audience which set everyone thinking – Who is responsible for the prevalent use and abuse of drugs in society? He believes that along with other factors, the Media is also responsible for exposing and sensationalising incidents – egging adolescents to explore these substances. He feels teenagers are not to be blamed, anything projected in social media is tried by youth. According to John Hopkins University, the Safest country during Covid is India. But ironically the mind of teenagers works on reverse psychology – saying NO attracts them to use it – negative propaganda can create an enigma and intrigue for teenagers towards these substances. Once trapped they can sacrifice/forgo everything – but to come back is tough for them. He feels Prevention is always good. Certain measures are needed in the Education policy like peer-group education, talks about the bad effects of drugs/alcohol etc. It is imperative to pass this message to the youth. Moral education/ Emotional quotient / mental health of students is very important, is as important as academic education. He suggested that parents need to balance their time to wean children from screen time or limit their screen time.

The next speaker was Ms Kanika Manish Chopra – IIT Alumni, Working with MNC, Founder of Ek Boond NGO.

She vehemently opened that not living in joint families is a miss, it is the moral responsibility of parents to inculcate values. The best method is not lecturing but to explain – grief – we need to work on the psychology of a child. She believes that children also give us strength, So we need to inculcate moral values at a nascent stage - share “why and how” of life. Substance abuse is affecting our society. According to her, the solution is to keep connecting with children – we all want the best, so it is of prime importance to have the right connection – to the depth – never enforce your dreams on them. She shared some startling facts that there is a manifold increase in the number of college students engaging in this. We have to create the difference / set an example/talk about solutions, not problems. She feels that a forum is needed to deliberate and discuss the root cause – always be an example to your students/children. Some valuable insights given by her are -Strike a balance – spend time / engage with your children at the right level. The current pandemic has increased depression leading to increased substance abuse. Other detrimental factors are Peer pressure –lack of companionship, silence on sex education, etc. This issue needs to have awareness, we need to work as a family Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam –talk and connect – create a positive ambience around us. The mantra is to spend time with children, talk to them at the right time, engage in more physical activity and connect them with nature and the environment.

The discussion comes to an end with the last speaker for the day, Ms Pooja Bose, Who is an Enthusiastic Principal at The High Range School with a passion for academic and students development and a history of success in developing effective strategies to overreach curriculum goals. Accomplished in aligning academic and instructional visions, and working in conjunction with professionals, paraprofessionals, and administrative staff to establish and maintain high-reaching standards. Demonstrated leadership skills with the ability to capitalize on emerging instructional technologies to enrich lesson plans and instruction. She started with an appreciation for her Co-Speakers to change her perception. Bring to our notice that the substance or any addiction becomes abuse when it started harming our body and affecting our surroundings.

The common element to stop it is parental support. We are in the 21st century, can't shut our eyes to the kind of competition, constant comparison. The presence of economic burden and presence of loneliness is present in our society and we need to prepare our child according to the time when both of the parents are working and the child doesn’t have a proper support system at home which leads to many problems like anxiety, depression and also socio disorder trouble what we need is a two-pronged approach which means prevention and intervention both are important. When we talk about prevention during the covid time the depression among youth and adolescence has increased from 11% to 40% and the reason we all know. We also have to understand that the parents are working, there has to be a support system or mechanism in the family. Who can support them emotionally and physically? is Each area is important for the child. we have to educate the child and replace the screen time with some extra curriculum activities or recreation activities or laughter, anything. The adolescence is scared of making new friends and reaching to people due to which thousands and thousands of Facebook friends become important leads to anxiety-like if you post a picture You look for more and more likes as ur looking for validation from them this has become an addiction and leads to dependency on chemical or gadgets or anything which give them relief. She added that there was a time when father and son drinking was taboo but it’s no more now, we see family members sitting together in a safe environment draining instead of some farmhouse or some isolated place. She shared some facts like it's more among boys than girls. It’s not just in an urban area but in rural, towns and suburbs as well. It’s an epidemic now. It’s the loneliness that adds to it and they become vulnerable to these substances. We need to build a support system like grandparents, friends, and cousins to fill up this vacuum. She concluded with a note that we also need to talk about rehabilitation as well which is very important as the wealthy people have 5-star types rehabilitation centres but there are still trillions of children which are a middle-income group or lower-income groups which have no support as we don’t have any such centre by the government or any governing agency. We need to talk about the cure. We need to answer and also think about these questions.

M of the Panel Discussion, Ms Nidhi Behl shared her views that we need not confine to yourselves but need to talk about it with our family members or friends or the parties or kitty parties we go to as nobody talks about these issues but as a society to balance everything we need to discuss and find solutions together. Both the moderator gave their gratitude to Dr Gaurav Sharma to take up this topic.

Ms Neha Srivastava came up with some interesting games during the session like tongue twister, riddles, memory game colour test, in which all guests and the audience participated with full enthusiasm.

The event was coordinated by Dr Supriya Kumaravelan (Co-chair of Positive Thoughts). Towards the end, Dr Supriya Kumaravelan gave the vote of thanks by mentioning that she's so grateful to all the speakers for sharing so many insights and giving their precious time. She shared her advice that we need to trust our children and we have to be friends with them. She was overwhelmed by the moderators, who has taken the show to another level. At last Guest and Moderator, were virtually facilitated by certification.

The article is written by Dr Priti Shrimal (Advisory Board Member and Content Manager of Positive Thoughts) and Ms Saloni Galundia (Content Manager of Positive Thoughts)

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