The Qatari Forum for Authors has continued its awareness discussion sessions on combating addiction. Through its YouTube channel, the Forum has hosted in commemoration of the International Day for Combating Drugs a new panel of specialists to discuss the “Role of Education and Culture in supporting the family to Combat Drugs.”
Several specialists have participated in the session, tackling the subject matter of the session from a different point of view related to each guest’s field of specialization. They included family consultant Ms. Mariem Al-Dossari and Education writer Ali Mahmoud in addition to Psychologist Dr. Mohammed Al-Anzi. The session was moderated by media figure Mohammed Al-Bishri.
Mr. Bishri emphasized at the beginning of the session on the necessity of being acquainted with the symptoms of addiction. A further necessity is to confront such an affliction through sound social upbringing and embracing the youth as of an early age in such a manner that commensurate with their mental and physical development. He further stressed that despite the growing efforts exerted by specialized institutions and civil society organizations, the drugs dilemma still looms as a significant danger over local and International security since it restricts economic, social and political stability as well as sustainable development.
He indicated that selecting the moto “A Better Knowledge for a Better Care” and the sub moto “My Family Protects me” has stressed the significance of the role of a family in the protection of its children. It also emphasizes the necessity of international cooperation to confine and confront this affliction.
For his part, member of the Qatari Forum for Authors, Mr. Ali Al-Mahmoud stressed that societies do not have the suffice knowledge or awareness to confront this affliction despite the fact that it significantly influences the brain which Allah has bestowed on and made a distinct character of Man over other beings on earth. Man must therefore be heedful of all his actions. Efforts on the local, international and even on the family levels should therefore continue to be exerted confront the current that is attempting to allure and encourage our youth into consuming drugs. He further pointed out that major countries have already started protecting themselves from addiction a matter which should be of even more significance to Islamic countries.  He indicated the importance of the role of the educated in the society in their support of the State’s and civil society’s efforts in confronting addiction as well as that of discussion and communication with the youth so as to educate, alert and follow-up them.
Dr. Mohammed Al-Anizi said that Family is the main basis on which the personality of the children is built and which forges their paths in life. The fundamental tasks of parents are to direct and protect. They thus must lay the foundations for organizing the family life and urge their children to organize their time and control their lives as well as to think positively so as to acquire the ability to confront challenges and difficulties that they might encounter. Children must do that in order not to fall into the abyss of corruption. He considered that the first method by which Man is able to acquire knowledge is for him to safeguard himself through heedfulness, continuous knowledge, self-education, accumulative experiences whether through travelling or reading or the challenges he meets in life. As for children, they should learn from alternative experiences which are those conveyed to them by others as well as through reading and relationships. He further explained that good conduct is the result of comprehensive and integral knowledge. Dr. Al-Anizi also stressed that there are no constant foundations on which to build one’s dealing with children, giving advice to them or alerting them. One must give good consideration to the characteristics of each age group and to deal with each according to its mindset, inclinations and nature. Furthermore, one must choose both the manner and time suitable to convey the required message. He further pointed out that a child’s addiction problem is not necessarily a result of the parents’ incompetency, but could be rather a result of psychological trouble suffered by the drug addict or being tempted to try drugs and thus illusioned into believing that it is a problem solver rather than a problem.
“There are discrepancies in consciousness,” Mariem Al-Dosari said, “Problems still exist though attempts are made to find solutions. It is thus necessary to introduce foundations of establishing a cohesive family. This is the main ground on which a child’s personality and identifying their inclinations are setup.
“Education as to this matter is an individual responsibility,” She further indicated “and one must comprehensively prepare himself/herself when deciding to get married since this is a complexly sensitive stage in life that needs true awareness and knowledge mainly due to the challenges that a family confronts. Youth must therefore educate themselves particularly since sources of such education are available everywhere, anytime.”

Ms. Al-Dosari defined a cohesive family as that which is most flexible and connected as well as having an ability to confront and overcome challenges and crises. She further pointed out that skills acquired by a person through knowledge must be seen in his/her behaviour. She further explained in the same context that the religion of Islam and the Qur’anic approach are the most important references to which we must adhere. They contain all direction necessary for the family to confront all difficulties. Adhering to the instructions of Islam in both its sources, the Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammed, is suffice for a marriage relationship to succeed and built a balanced family. Thus, children must be brought up on religious basis as that is a simple and straightforward approach present in our heritage that enables us to conquer the affliction of addiction.
She further emphasized that the process of directing, guiding and supervising of children is a lifelong responsibility not one that is related to a certain period of time of age. It is a joint responsibility equally shared by both parents. The heavier burden, however, falls on the shoulders of that parent who spends more time with the children. Parents must give due care to their children as they pass the stage of adolescence and have amicable discussions with them through which parents could convey directions in a lenient and smooth manner avoiding clashes. They could also choose suitable intermediaries between them and the children whom they love and trust.
Additionally, Ms. Al-Dosari called on all parents to invest in the time they spend with their children on beneficial activities as well as to strengthen their immunity and faith in addition to alerting them to the significance of time and quality of performance.