Drug Situation Report

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Drug Situation Report 2003

 

 

 

Overview

Drug abusers arrested registered a sharp 47% decline as compared to 2002. The situation amongst new drug abusers has also improved with a 20% decrease in new abusers arrested. Relapse rate last year1 was 13.0%2 as compared to 18.4% for the previous year.

Last year, CNB mounted 56 major operations against drug traffickers and abusers, which resulted in the breakup of 30 syndicated drug trafficking activities.

1 Relapse rate for 2003 was computed based on the cohort of supervisees placed on urine supervision in 2002.
2 Computed based on the number of supervisees who relapsed in their first year of supervision divided by total cohort size

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Local Abuser Arrested

Total and New Local Drug Abusers Arrested 2003

The number of abusers arrested in 2003 was a record low in the last two decades. 1,809 drug abusers were arrested in 2003. This is a sharp decline of 47% as compared to 2002.

The number of new abusers arrested has also declined. 729 new abusers were arrested in 2003, a 20% decline as compared to 2002.

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Local Abuser By Drug Type

Abusers by Drug Type 2003

This chart shows the composition of abusers arrested in 2003 by drug type. For the first time, the number of synthetic drug abusers exceeded the number of heroin abusers to form the majority of abusers arrested. Synthetic drugs include ‘Ecstasy’, methamphetamine and ketamine. Together, they made up 54% of the abusers arrested last year while heroin abusers formed 31% of abusers arrested.

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Comparison of total abusers with 2002

Total Abusers 2003

This graph compares abusers by drug type with the year 2002. Heroin abusers fell by 75%. The sharp fall in heroin abusers had led to the overall decline in abusers arrested, and also the shift in the proportion of drug type consumed.

While synthetic drug abusers formed the majority of abusers arrested in 2003, the local synthetic drug situation had not worsened. The number of synthetic drug abusers arrested in 2003 remained relatively constant as compared to 2002.

The number of 'Ecstasy' abusers increased slightly from 98 arrested in 2002 to 114 in 2003. Methamphetamine abusers on the other hand, registered a significant 40% decline in 2003.

Only Ketamine abusers continued to show a rising trend. 497 ketamine abusers were arrested in 2003, up from 252 in 2002.

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New Abusers by Drug Type

New Abusers by Drug Type 2003

Amongst new abusers, 72% of new abusers arrested in 2003 took synthetic drugs. New heroin abusers formed only 9% of new abusers arrested.

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Comparison of new abusers with 2002

New Abusers 2003

The fall in new abusers came from the fall in new heroin abusers. New heroin abusers fell sharply by 78%. The number of new synthetic drug abusers remained relatively constant in the last two years. 527 new synthetic drug abusers were arrested in 2003 as compared to 517 arrested in 2002.

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Ethnicity

Abusers by Ethnicity 2003

Abusers across all ethnic groups registered declines in 2003. The most significant fall came from the Malay abusers with a decline of 69%. Malay abusers formed 26% of abusers arrested in 2003 while Chinese abusers formed 61% of abusers arrested.

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Total and New abusers by Age Group

Abusers by Age Group 2003

In addition to the changes in drug type and ethnic composition, the age profile of abusers arrested in 2003 also registered changes. Abusers across all age groups registered declines for both total and new abusers. In particular, abusers in the 30 to 39 age group registered the most significant decline of 57%. This resulted in a shift in the age profile of abusers arrested in 2003.

Specifically, of the 1,809 drug abusers arrested in 2003, 34% were in the 20 to 29 age group followed by 28% in the 30 to 39 age group (see Chart 1). This is a reverse of the situation in 2002 in which 34% of abusers arrested were aged 30 to 39 while 28% were aged 20 to 29.

For new abusers, the composition has remained the same as 2002. Abusers in the 20 to 29 age group continued to form the majority of new abusers arrested at 52% (see Chart 2).

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Drug Seizures in 2004

There were not many significant seizures of drugs in 2003. Some of the larger seizures made last year were of cannabis, methamphetamine ('Ya ba' tablets) and nimetazepam.

Cannabis

CNB seized 22kg of cannabis in 2003. In an operation conducted in Feb 03, CNB seized 9kg of cannabis from a local cannabis trafficker who supplied cannabis to street pushers. This was the largest single seizure recorded in 2003.

Methamphetamine (or 'Ya ba') tablets

34,850 'Ya ba' tablets were seized in 2003. This was lower than the 67,840 tablets seized in 2002 but remained high as compared to the 20,000 tablets seized in 2001.

Nimetazepam

CNB seized 94,200 nimetazepam tablets in 2003. This is the largest seizure recorded since nimetazepam became a controlled drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act in 1992. The significant seizure is due to a single large seizure of 55,000 nimetazepam tablets in an operation conducted in May 03.

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Conclusion

The local drug situation remains well under control with a sharp 47% decline in the number of abusers arrested and a 20% decline in new abusers arrested. Heroin abusers registered significant decline while the number of synthetic drug abusers had remained relatively constant as compared to 2002.

Central Narcotics Bureau
February 2004

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Last Updated: Monday, 20 April 2015