Strong family bond is effective shield vs drug use

National 2 minutes, 7 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

MOST drug abusers started when they were young due to poor family ties, a senior official from the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has said.

Osmawi Osman, Assistant Director of the NCB’s Preventive Drug Education Division, told The Brunei Times recently that based on their investigation, youngsters would start experimenting with drugs by the time they reach secondary schools and these were offered to them by drug dealers.

Although, most drug-related arrests involved adults, “most drug addicts often started when they were young due to parents’ neglect”, he said.

NCB figures showed 610 drug offenders were apprehended in 2014 and 55 per cent of those were aged 31 and above. “The reason why majority were adults was because they were not caught when they were young. Their parents might not know the sort of activities they were involved. When the children don’t receive enough love from their parents or siblings, they would go out and venture on illegal activities such as drug abuse,” he said.

He said strong ties among family members would encourage children and teenagers to be more willing to share their secrets with their parents and this will be the most effective shield against drug abuse.

“A strong family bond is the most effective shield against serious drug use issues,” he said.

Osmawi, said that poor communication between family members could lead to neglect and depression, which could drive children to seek relationship elsewhere and resort to drug use.

“Neglected children will hide all sorts of things from parents. They would modify everyday items into drug paraphernalia, without their parents knowing,” said Osmawi.

He cited a case where a modified flask was found in the parent’s living room of a drug suspect during a raid.

“The parents did not know that the flask was a drug instrument. During the raid and the arrest of the man, the parents said that the thing (flask) had been lying in the living room. It happened in Brunei. The parents thought it was a decoration,” said Osmawi.

The officer said open communication could be the key to strong family ties as he stressed that parents should talk to their children in natural settings like during breakfast, lunch, dinner and even when taking out the trash.

“Parents should find the time to be able to have a one-to-one talk with their children. When you (parents) are in the same car with your children, talk to them about their daily life. Good communication can empower your children to avoid drug abuse,” he said.  

The Brunei Times