‘Tertiary students more susceptible to drug abuse’

National 2 minutes, 31 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

TERTIARY-level students are more susceptible to the influence of drugs and their abuse as they have more freedom and resources, a chief narcotics officer from the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) said.

Raimawati Hj Badarudin, Acting Assistant Director of the NCB’s Preventive Drug Education Division, said tertiary-level students have more freedom in which they can be exposed to the influence of drugs while they might misuse the government allowance provided to them to buy drugs.

“After high school, students who continue on to tertiary education will feel as if they’re working as they get money (allowance) and the school time isn’t as rigid as those in high school with fixed study hours of 7.30am-12.30pm,” she said.

Due to this, students might undergo a phase of ‘culture shock’ when they enrol in a higher level of education during which they can be exposed to taking drugs, she added.

She was speaking on the sidelines of the NCB’s two-day roadshow and seminar on drug abuse at the Institute of Brunei Technical Education’s Sultan Saiful Rijal Technical College (IBTE MTSSR) which began on Wednesday.

“These students (at this level) can be seen as more independent and resourceful, so that’s why we want to inform them regarding drugs and their impact to prevent them from making the wrong choices.”

She also lauded IBTE MTSSR’s move to invite the NCB to hold the talk and exhibition on the college’s premises after its teachers noticed that some of the students were going through the culture shock phase.

“I applaud the teachers here because they know the students here are transitioning and adapting to the new atmosphere, so they invited us to come and are working together with us to inform these students about the influence of drugs and their impact before anything happens.”

Hj Alli Pg Hj Samsuddin, a senior narcotics officer, said tertiary-level students can be easy targets for drug dealers nowadays, especially those selling marijuana.

“If you’re studying at a high tertiary level and feeling pressured from doing assignments, people can come to you and offer you drugs for free (initially) to alleviate your burden,” he said.

Most students would usually be tempted to take this ‘shortcut to happiness’ and disregard the negative impacts the decision will have on their future, he added.

“So what we want to do is not just educate them on awareness of drug abuse but also teach them how to make the right choices.

“It’s instilling in them responsibilities, not just to themselves but also to the society and the nation in which they need to make the right choices regarding these drugs regardless of the many influences out there.”

Themed ‘Drugs…Fantasy Versus Reality’, the NCB’s talks were conducted in three time slots from morning to afternoon with an hour duration for each.

Meanwhile, its mini exhibition displayed information on a number of drugs along with drug samples and equipment used by drug smugglers and addicts.

The Brunei Times