American politician Bob Riley said: “Drugs are the enemies of ambition and hope - and when we fight against drugs, we are fighting for the future.”

Romanticising the use of narcotics is wrong. The side effects of such drugs can lead to memory loss, uncharacteristic behaviour and impulsive behaviour.

Drugs may start out as just something to do with friends, or a way to pass time but pulling yourself out of it before spiralling downwards is incredibly hard to do. As pupils, and more importantly as part of the global youth, it is vital for us to play our part, in strongly advocating against the use of such narcotics. This can be done through campaigns, drives and more.

Art can be used to express the harmful effects of addiction. Celebrities, too, can use their position of power to speak about the ill effects of drug abuse.

Social media is a platform capable of bringing about a tsunami of change. The involvement of youth in drug prevention is an undoubtedly necessary measure. Children must no longer hesitate to reveal their exposure to drugs. We, as a community, must support such uncertain minds.

It is now, more than ever, crucial for us to adapt into a more accepting, understanding and diversity-inclusive society, for, only through tolerance and empathy, can we hope to be rid of this influence from the minds of children. This transformation must be spearheaded by the ambassadors of tomorrow - the pupils of today.

- The reader is a pupil at a Sharjah-based school.