Use internet wisely to curb drug abuse, Sadikin tells teens

Use internet wisely to curb drug abuse, Sadikin tells teens

A screenshot of Indonesian Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin at an online talkshow 'Protect Children From Drug Abuse' in Jakarta on Friday (July 30, 2021). (ANTARA/Hreeloita Dharma Shanti)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin has asked teenagers to use the internet wisely to combat the trafficking and abuse of drugs.

"During the COVID-19 pandemic, we still need to pay attention to the use of drugs among children and adolescents," he said while joining an online talk show Protect Children from Drug Abuse from here on Friday.

The use of technology amid the pandemic can affect children's development, he said. He argued that technology, especially the internet, can have a positive and negative impact on teenagers, especially when it comes to social media interactions.

"Teenagers do not only compete in offline media, but also in online, where there is no distance and time limit. They can imitate and adopt habits, characters, trends, and ideologies through the media," he noted.

Such wide disclosure of information can pose a considerable danger if adolescents are not ready for the changes and technological developments, including the influence of technology in the abuse of drugs, psychotropic substances, and other addictive substances, Sadikin said.

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Meanwhile, psychiatrist from the Faculty of Medicine, University of Indonesia (FKUI), Dr. Kristiana Siste Kurniasanti, said there are three factors that can lead to drug addiction. The first is the agent or the object itself, for example, the drugs or the internet, she stated.

"For example, addiction to playing the internet, or more specifically, like playing online games and (using) social media," Kurniasanti added.

The second is the individual or the subject, and the third factor is the environment. "So, it has a triangular shape like this, all three have their respective roles," said Kurniasanti.

Another factor that can lead people to addiction is access, she pointed out. Social media makes it easier for someone to abuse drugs, she said.

Meanwhile, economic status, the relationship between parents and children, peer pressure, advertisements, and government regulations are also factors that can contribute to drug abuse, she added. 

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