A Child Welfare League Foundation survey released yesterday showed that 23 percent of children and adolescents have considered taking illicit drugs, while 16 percent said that they know where to buy them.
The survey was conducted between May 23 and June 30 among 3,050 elementary-school, junior and senior-high school students about their awareness about and exposure to third and fourth-grade controlled drugs.
It said that the most commonly used third and fourth-grade controlled drug by young people is not marijuana, but the relatively cheaper ketamine, which has been linked to severe ulcerative cystitis.
The survey showed that 23.4 percent of reposndents had thought about trying illicit drugs and that their main motives were frustration (55.7 percent), lack of affection from family (50.3 percent), stress relief (34.7 percent) and curiosity (29.9 percent).
It also showed that 15.9 percent of students said that they know where to purchase illicit drugs, including from people they have met recreationally, friends on the Internet, adult friends and friends from other schools.
The survey also showed that 54.1 percent had consumed an alcoholic beverage, mainly beer or a cocktail, while 20.9 percent had bought alcoholic beverages and 13.6 percent had bought cigarettes.
The risks of smoking, alcohol or betel nuts were underestimated by 61.9 percent, while 26.1 percent thought they would be able to control a drug habit.
Foundation executive secretary Huang Yun-hsuan (黃韻璇) said children and adolescents face all sorts of stresses and feel frustrated, and a lack of affection and support from their family members and society’s temptations can lead them to want to take drugs.
“Children and adolescents are still developing their personality, and their family background, educational environment and many other aspects of life can all affect their drug-exposure risk level,” Taiwan Society of Addiction Science secretary-general Hung Chia-chun (洪嘉均) said. “Parents should spend more time with their children, care about their emotions, help them establish an identity and help them create multiple channels for relieving stress.”
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