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According to the Central Narcotics Bureau in
Singapore (2017) drug is a substance when breathed, shot, smoked, consumed
or absorbed through skin that causes a physiological change in the body. Thus,
when society looks at youths being hooked
to drugs, it is viewed regarding items such as cannabis, heroin,
methamphetamine (ICE)to be addictive and comes to a point where it affects the
impulses and addictive levels. This addiction is a chronic disease, which not
treated can harm the people around them and society.  Sociological
concepts and critical findings would be essential to find out the reason why
the rise in youth addiction to drugs. This study would understand what needs to
be done to minimise such social problems that may arise.

 

The National Youth Council youth statistics (2017)
showed that there had been an increase in youth arrest since 2015. It explained
they had been 3,265 youth arrest coming from the ages from 7-19. 
According to a Today Online Article published on 12 May of 2017, among youth
crimes and arrest in Singapore, 1,347 new drug abusers were caught in 2015.  The
article pointed out that almost two-thirds were people under 30 years old.  The Ministry
of Home Affairs in 2016 observed that have been a 9 percent increase in some drug-related cases involving the youth since 2015. This addition brought an area of concern in understanding the reason for
such trends towards drug abuse. In Singapore, a
country which has a zero-tolerance stance towards drugs seems to show a
deviance in youths towards the laws. They are braver than before showing an
increase in drugs purchases in methamphetamine (ICE) and Cannabis that are the
commonly abused drugs in Singapore.  When
applying the structural functionalist perspective, it could tell us that such
deviance from youths could happen because society has indirectly contributed to
the possible reason for such trends in the rise in new drug abusers. The
Singapore Nightlife Business Association (2017) have observed the increase in night
activities. The increasing number of nightspots and extended hours of these
night spots. The aims of the nightlife scene, seem to be seen as a mean to
boost the economy and bring more business when attracting more people. However,
it can also indirectly create a rise in areas for drug dealers to provide drugs
to the younger ones to try it for free. Once addiction starts, they will begin
to pay the price for this drugs to the dealers. This is according to the
Straits Times article published on 26 June 2017. It shares on how past drug
addicts share their experiences in the way in which they get drugs. Merton’s
strain theory would also understand why is their deviance among youths towards
the use of drugs when there is already strict and harsh laws in place to stop
drugs from affecting the society. Singapore zero tolerance towards drugs, as
seen with the death penalty, hefty fine and jail terms; could encourage
deviance, as Merton believed with cultural values and norms, example the tough
stance towards drugs could place pressure, sudden drive or motive to look into
the effects of drugs. It forces the individual to support the society’s  goals or become deviant to fight the purposes
of social norms and values. Thus, one of the trends of interest among youths regarding
the use of drugs could be the society and government indirect motives that
cause deviance and the increase in youth drug abusers arrest.

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The profile change of drug abusers could be another
reason why the number of youth drug
abusers cases are on the rise. An example would be from a Straits Times article
published on 26 June 2017. It shares how the profile of young drug users are no
longer pinpointed to a particular stereotype of children from broken families
or those who joined gangs. However, there seem to more young drug abusers from
upper-middle-class families. The profile thus tends to fit those who are better
educated, tech-savvy and informed youth, which have more liberal attitudes
towards drugs. The social conflict perspective could understand why the change
in profile from low-income and broken families to better educated upper-class
families could very well be the reason for the rise in the increase in the
arrest of youth drug abusers. The low income and broken families are now in the
situation where is somewhat difficult to get drugs because of the resources and
money to even get it. However, with the upper-middle-class families, they tend
to be better educated and show liberal attitudes towards drugs. They tend to be
better informed in obtaining information about purchasing drugs as well as have
the resources and money to afford them for their addicted pleasures. Thus,
because of the stigma placed on young drug abusers being from broken families
and gangs, our ignorance could be the reason why youth from the
upper-middle-class families seems to be more brazen towards drugs.

 

Lastly, the misperception of how
drugs are viewed from foreign influences and social media platforms can show
why the vested interest from youth that is trying to experiment with drugs.

Using the symbolic interactionism perspective. Snoop Dog, an American famous rap
artist that uses drugs such as marijuana to promote music. This happens to be
very influential on the audience as it shows the feel-good factor of taking
drugs, which in turn lures the viewer to purchase drugs to try it out for
themselves. Social media too also can shape how we see drugs. An example would
come from a poll done by the National Council Against Drug Abuse (NCADA)
published in the today online on 12 May 2017. It showed that youths aged 13 to
21 had more liberal views about drugs. Almost one-third of the respodents think
that cannabis is less harmful and addictive, with this manly being perputuated
by various social media plafoms. According to the Singapore Insitute of mental
Health (IMH) it was reported show evidence that cannabis indeed can be harmful
and addictive. This not treated could be harmful to the person causing
irreversisble brain chnages that lower IQ and have mental health conditions
such as depression. Thus, this shows how misperception about he use of drugs
have also played in the rise of the young drug abuse crimes in Singapore.

 

There can never be a solution to solving the young
to stop taking drugs. When youths return to drugs because drug addiction is a
chronic disease. That means that it stays with for the person for a long time,
even if they stop using it for a while. It is not like a cold where it goes
very fast. A person returning may seek treatment but would be very hard to get
rid of such abuse to them. The best solution would come to minimise from
happening. A most crucial component of society, family and friends. For
example, research has shown that family bonding is especially influential
before the teen turns 18. Youths with low family bonding turn to drugs as
compared to families with the strong bond. Parents also act as a role-model to
the teen. As if parents were seen taking drugs, then it is reasonable behaviour
as well, and thus follow the actions of parents. This similar approach also
works with peers as well. Known as peer pressure, where people may turn to
substance abuse to fit in with the crowd. Peer appear to obtain pleasure and
satisfaction with substance abuse. This will later let the individual to
tempted to imitate such behaviour.

 

Also, there can also be an improvement the system
when it comes to reformative training. For offenders to change, they can take
the first step of reflecting and willing to change. As we see the profile of
the drug abusers is coming from youths, who are well educated showing liberal
attitudes. There needs a better approach to finding ways improve with the
times. Youths today are well educated, they know what is to expect in
reformative training. There need to be ways to make use of more self-reflective
approaches. For example, finding ideas how we can include parents, teachers and
the community and even the use of social media to educate the young about the
harms of drugs.

 

 

 

 

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