Published: 07 February 2023
Dr Tan Wu Meng: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs (a) whether current efforts to educate youths on the harm of drugs have considered (i) the opportunities and challenges arising from the increased availability of mobile devices (ii) the evolving media environment overseas and (iii) the risks of very young Singaporeans inadvertently coming across drug content; and (b) what is being done to keep up the educational efforts with the ongoing and emerging trends of content promoting drugs.
Assoc Prof Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, Minister of State, Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of National Development:
1. Sir, the ubiquity of mobile devices and use of social media has indeed exposed youths more to liberal drug views and lifestyles. They also make it easier for people to procure drugs.
2. The Central Narcotics Bureau, or CNB, has therefore also been actively using social media platforms to reach out to youths, to educate them on the harms of drugs through explainer videos, news stories, infographics and other means.
3. CNB also works with youth advocates, such as students from Institutes of Higher Learning, to ensure that its anti-drug messages and campaigns are relatable to youths. For example, CNB collaborated with students from Singapore Polytechnic’s School of Business last year, to roll out two anti-drug social media campaigns.
4. CNB works with MOE and schools to incorporate anti-drug messages into the school curriculum. It engages students through talks, sharing sessions, exhibitions and skits.
5. There are also efforts to get parents on board. In 2022, CNB collaborated with 13 community libraries to bring attention to the important role that parents play in helping their children to understand the dangers of drugs. CNB produced a range of anti-drug materials suitable for families with young children for display at these libraries. Some of the libraries organised family-friendly activities, such as storytelling and craft sessions, to raise awareness of the harms of drugs. CNB also commissioned editorials in the Straits Times’ ‘Smart Parenting’ column, to highlight the important role of parental guidance in drug issues.