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Date [ 2014-02-20, 09:26 ]

A survey has found that parents and teachers are the biggest influence against drugs.

(Singapore=Koreanpress) Benjamin Kim = The National Council Against Drug Abuse (NCADA) hasreleased findings from its survey on the perceptions and attitudes of Singapore youths towards drug abuse.
The key findings are that:

▶Parents and teachers continue to be strong influencers in dissuading young people from experimenting with drugs.
▶Youths view drugs and drug abuse negatively but older youths are more likely to accept liberal attitudes towards drugs and
▶Current anti-drug laws are effective.
The NCADA Youth Perception Survey was commissioned in 2013 and involved 2,075 youths aged between 13 and 21. NCADA will use the survey results to advise and work with partners in the anti-drug ecosystem.

This will include fine-tuning preventive drug education (PDE) efforts, fostering greater community involvement, especially of parents, to entrench the awareness of the dangers of drug abuse.
The Survey found that television remains an important source of information about drugs, with 63.1% of youths surveyed listing television as a source of information about drugs. However, parents and teachers continue to be effective in dissuading youths from drug abuse.

About one in two youths surveyed, indicated that they would approach their family, in particular parents, if they had any questions about drugs. Two in five youths surveyed also look to their teachers and counselors for information.
Underscoring the influence parents have, the Survey found that 96.5% of youths whose parents had spoken to them about drugs and drug abuse reported that those conversations have deterred them from taking drugs.
A/P Narayanan Ganapathy, Chairperson of NCADA's Research Sub-Committee said: “There are some television programmes that normalise drug abuse.

As youths, especially those who are younger, are still highly impressionable, parents and guardians should monitor their media consumption and guide them to evaluate the information which they have obtained from the mass media.”
He added that as parents and teachers appear to be the first source of information, it is crucial for them to be informed in matters relating to drug abuse so as to effectively advise youths on drug related matters.
Only 40.6% of all Survey respondents said that they have had conversations with their parents on drugs. A/P Ganapathy urged more parents to initiate conversations with their children about drug abuse and its dangers.
When the youths were asked what would happen if they were offered drugs, 97.3% were confident that they would decline. Most respondents expressed strong objections to drug abuse in their responses to the following statements:
Similarly, when asked what they associated “drugs” with, 68.4% of them chose “An illegal/harmful/dangerous substance” (43.3%) or “A substance that can be addictive” (25.1%). 87.3% of the youths also said they felt that Singapore’s laws against drugs are effective in controlling the local drug situation.
However, the Survey found that a small percentage of youths (about 4.4%) display liberal attitudes towards drugs and were more likely to agree with the statement “It’s alright to try drugs for a new experience”.

This group consisted of older youths aged 17 to 21. A/P Ganapathy said: "Although this group is small, we will not ignore them and will factor their attitudes into the development of our PDE programmes and initiatives.”
 “Overall, the Survey results are reassuring. Singaporean youths view drugs negatively and believe that our drug laws are effective. NCADA and our partners in the anti-drug ecosystem will continue to nurture these anti-drug values in them”, he added.


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