Drug task force to engage youth through surveys and focus group discussions

SINGAPORE - A multi-agency task force will survey and engage youths and young adults through focus group discussions, to get their views on how the current anti-drug message can be improved.

The task force chairman Masagos Zulkifli pointed out that according to latest drug statistics released on Monday by the Central Narcotics Bureau, 34 per cent of drug abusers arrested last year were below 30. In 2010, the figure was only 29 per cent.

Mr Masagos, who is also Senior Minister of State for Home Affairs and Foreign Affairs, said: "It is an ongoing challenge to keep our young people away from drugs amidst more liberal attitudes towards drugs."

The task force has roped in schools, tertiary institutions, the Health Promotion Board, National Youth Council, and the National Addictions Management Service of the Institute of Mental Health, among other agencies, to address the youth drug problem. It held its second meeting on Monday to discuss these issues and will release its recommendations by the third quarter of this year.