Voices Of Youth

The root of teen drug abuse

The number of teenagers who are trying recreational drugs, smoking and drinking alcohol has become a problem. The root of the issue with drugs is not boredom or peer pressure but rather a more depressing reason.

First, studies have established links between why people choose to pick up drugs and mental issues such as depression, social anxiety and even stress. The worrying truth behind why teenagers are increasingly using drugs is social isolation, feeling like a misfit or being a victim of bullying. They turn to drugs to run away from their real problems and eventually dig a deeper and darker hole for themselves.

Switzerland has attempted to tackle the drug use issue through government sponsored drug-rehabilitation centres, using counselling and assistance to help victims find new jobs and a social circle, rather than locking them up or punishing them. This approach proved more successful than the use of force and a strict judiciary adopted by other countries.

Jordan Loo Ming Zhou, 15

Secondary 4 student

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 17, 2018, with the headline 'The root of teen drug abuse'. Print Edition | Subscribe