CHILDREN with troubled backgrounds are often involved in drug and substance abuse.
National Substance Abuse Advisory Committee (NSAAC) director Misaele Dreubalavu said many cases reported to them involved children who came from broken homes, including those who were traumatised in one way or another.
Mr Dreubalavu said many of these children had undergone some sort of psychological challenge in their lives.
"The drug and substance abuse is just the surface of the real problem as children try to do things to take their mind of the real problem," Mr Dreubalavu said.
"Substance abuse is just the tip of the iceberg that stems from a real problem like abuse, broken families and bullying.
"Children are often affected emotionally and psychologically and resort to drug and substance abuse."
Mr Dreubalavu said children in such circumstances needed counselling.
"Parents are advised to talk to their children and discuss their problems.
"My advice to parents is to read the signs in their children's behaviour and talk to their children if they see any differences.
"These problems can be addressed through conversation and parents can play a major role in ensuring that their children are out of harms way."