Does Japan have a drug problem?


Tori Bentley
I.T., 24
No. I’m from the U.K. and most people I know have tried drugs. Whenever I ask people my age here, the textbook response is drugs are very bad and they haven’t tried them. There’s no drug culture, especially compared with the U.K.

Broker, 35
In the West, people know where to go — there’s easier access. There is more help for people with drug problems, but there are not many professionals to help people here because people who do drugs are viewed as total losers.

Andrea Barbieri
Headhunter, 32
I don’t think there is a drug problem here, especially compared to Italy. In Italy, you can spot a person on the street and you know they’re doing drugs. Some areas are dangerous because of people using heavy drugs, but not here.

Miho Akamatsu
Hairdresser, 31
Compared to overseas, it’s not so big. Young people do drugs in clubs, I think, because their eyes are strange. I heard that sometimes people smoke drugs in the car and the police come, but because it isn’t sake,they’re not so strict.

David Landrigan
Whiskey marketing, 32
No, there’s not. They’re here, but it’s not a big problem because they’re not as readily available. There’s no obvious drug culture — you don’t see smackheads on the streets. Demand creates supply, so no drug culture, no drugs.

Mari Kobayashi
P.A., 31
Partly, yes, because some young kids are using drugs and having problems. If we are not careful, it will get bigger so education campaigns against drugs are very important. I think the government is doing a good job on that.