We thank Mr Frank Singam for his letter (Look also at psychosocial factors driving young people to harmful habits, June 4). We share his views that many factors can add to a young person’s risk of drug abuse.
In a survey conducted in 2019 by the National Council Against Drug Abuse, the support for Singapore’s zero-tolerance stance towards drugs by young people was 79 per cent, compared with 84 per cent for those above 30. Young people are more exposed to liberal views of drugs through the Internet and media.
Research has found the presence of psychosocial factors, such as peer influence, curiosity, boredom and poor coping skills, among young drug abusers. Parental influence was found to be effective in deterring drug abuse.
In the council’s Youth And Public Perception Survey 2015/6, almost half of the secondary school and junior college respondents reported that their parents had conversations with them about drugs, and nine in 10 of these respondents were less likely to abuse drugs. It is never too early to start conversations with our children about drugs.
The Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) has been reaching out to the public through multiple channels, and has tailored preventive drug education programmes for schools, as well as those in positions of influence like parents, counsellors, educators, youth advocates and national service commanders. They also receive informational toolkits to help them provide guidance or peer support to the youths.
The community, too, can play a part to advocate against drug abuse. The public can visit the CNB website at www.cnb.gov.sg to find out more about volunteering with us.
Sng Chern Hong, Deputy Director (Policy and Administration),
Central Narcotics Bureau