Your little child will drag the cup of fresh palm wine someone offered you in the village with you, and he’d be very serious about it. He hasn’t seen that kind of drink before, and he’s really into Bobo juice. He will also cry over a can of Heineken, stout or a glass of Hennessey. To that extent, his crave for these things is innocent and harmless.
If you, your partner or anybody else in the house smoke, your child will watch you do it, or grow to notice you’re hiding some part of you from him. It’s also possible you don’t stock beers in your home, but you get to see more and more cans of it in your waste bin when the sanitation authority workers come to pick up your wastes.
Soon, you may realise you run out of beers in your store faster than the soft drinks especially when your son in secondary school is on holidays. One day, you may notice pack of cigarettes somewhere in his room or perceive it in his breathe in between the menthol, the body spray and the perfume if you have an acute nose.
Now, there may be no big deal about your child smoking cigarette and or drinking beer except you’re into deeper life or you’re chosen. After all, he doesn’t get drunk and vomit all over the place or fall into the gutter like the Mbaise man that lived in my father’s house in Aba. They say smokers are liable to die young, but we all know some old smokers.
But this is what you may not know…
The world of illicit/hard drug use, drug addiction, or drug dealing and the attendant heinous crimes is a gated community of higher dimension of feelings. And the gate like the one in your house has two sides: alcohol and tobacco/cannabis.
When a person is introduced to either of these, the probability of entering and exploring this illicit world is close to one. The reasons are simple:
1. They offer a feeling of ‘goodness’ which form the first rung of the ladder of feelings offered by illicit drugs. It’s like the overcoming the inertia…
2. They never really satisfy on their own. Combining them with new substances produce better feelings.
3. They are traded in vicinities where their higher relatives like meth, LSG, cocaine, heroin, etc, are traded.
4. They bond friendships that encourage further use. These bonds can be stronger than family and sensual bonds put together. It is that friendship that builds the trust that goes with sharing of a stick of cigarette, sharing a needle, sleeping over at a strangers place, etc. If there is something that truly unites the dark world, it is addiction to drugs.
A good percentage of people who take alcohol and tobacco/cannabis will stop at this get and never move further either for lack of opportunity or lack of resources, but mostly the former.
So, the next time you let your child grab a bottle, think of the 'world of possibilities' out there.