S'poreans naive about drugs

S'poreans naive about drugs

When substance abuse therapist Tony Tan, 38, heard that there were at least nine deaths last week linked to drug-taking at trendy music and dance festivals, he was not surprised.

Mr Tan, a Singaporean counsellor at rehabilitation centre The Cabin in Thailand, says that drug-taking was viewed as immoral in the past, but is seen as a lifestyle now.

"Taking drugs is looked at as living life on the edge, especially because musicians these days, who are often role models for youngsters, speak openly about using drugs, about checking into rehab and trying to change."

Six people, all Malaysians, died from drug overdose at the Future Music Festival Asia concert in Kuala Lumpur last week, with several Singaporean concert-goers being hospitalised as well.

In Jakarta, Indonesia, there were three drug-related deaths at a dance festival called A State Of Trance on the same weekend. One of those who died was a Singaporean.

Mr Tan says those taking drugs at music festivals and clubbing events are usually social users who are experimenting.

"The hardcore users typically isolate themselves and use the drugs in private.

"Experimental or social users often underestimate the impact and effect of the drugs consumed, and may not be clear about the quality of the drug," he adds.

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