Voices Of Youth

Media influence a big factor in drug abuse

Drug abuse among youngsters is a very serious issue. It was reported that nearly 70 per cent of new drug abusers arrested in 2015 were below 30. Some were even as young as 13 or 14. This is alarming.

If one is caught possessing these substances, one faces penalties ranging from caning to life imprisonment.

So why is there still an increasing trend of drug abuse among youngsters?

I believe one big reason is the influence of the media.

Many songs, shows, celebrities and websites glorify the use of drugs, causing youngsters to adopt a more relaxed view of the consumption of drugs.

In a poll conducted by the National Council Against Drug Abuse, more than one-third of young respondents thought cannabis was less harmful and not addictive.

This misconception is further exacerbated by online sources stating that cannabis has medicinal uses.

Videos on social media platforms feature jokes relating to smoking marijuana. Youngsters may hence think that consuming drugs is not a big deal.

Heaps of content are available on the Internet. Young people need to learn to differentiate between right and wrong, to prevent themselves from being brainwashed.

Sophie Ng Bei En,16

Secondary 4 student

CALLING YOUNG READERS: If you are a student or aged 21 years or below, and want to air your opinion on any report or letter in The Straits Times, e-mail your letter to stforum@sph.com.sg, with the subject header ''Voices of Youth''. Do include your age, school level and contact details, and the headline of the report/letter you refer to. Please keep to a length of 250 words.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 18, 2017, with the headline 'Media influence a big factor in drug abuse'. Print Edition | Subscribe