More Singapore teens under 16 caught abusing drugs in 2024: Faishal

1 week ago 59

Updated

Jul 10, 2024, 08:05 PM

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Jul 10, 2024, 08:05 PM

SINGAPORE – A new drug test kit that provides nearly instant results is currently being evaluated by the authorities, alongside a rise in teen drug abuse here.

“In the first four months of 2024 alone, 16 drug offenders who were under the age of 16 were arrested, compared to 24 such arrests in the whole of 2023,” noted Minister of State for Home Affairs and National Development Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim at the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) Workplan Seminar 2024 on July 10.

“These trends point to the changing attitudes of some of our youths towards drugs,” he said in his opening address at the seminar on CNB’s anti-drugs efforts, noting that among the 600-odd attendees were representatives from the Ministry of Education, anti-drug advocates and volunteers.

Associate Professor Faishal said there have been more cases of youth engaging in drug trafficking and abuse, and that they were getting younger.

He also flagged a wider acceptance of drug use among young people, citing a recent survey where 79 per cent of youth, compared with 91 per cent of adults, agreed that cannabis should remain illegal in Singapore.

Prof Faishal said he thinks “this is largely because our youths are exposed to more misinformation online and from foreign jurisdictions that perpetuate a benign view of drugs, and advocate therefore a more relaxed stance towards drugs”.

Ms Carol Loi, 53, a counsellor who attended the seminar held at the Singapore Expo, said that even if children momentarily stray into the world of substance abuse, smoking or vaping, parents should never lose hope but continue to engage them.

“Parents need to get equipped with the relevant information to start conversations with their children on the harms of drug abuse,” the co-founder of SG Families, a gro...

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