Misuse of Drugs Act (w.e.f 25 Mar 2019)

22 Mar 2019

            With effect from 25 Mar 2019, the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) will be listing 1 New Psychoactive Substances (NPS)[1] and 2 NPS metabolites to the First Schedule of the Misuse of Drugs Act (MDA). Please see Annex A for the list of drugs.

2          Following the listing of these substances as Class A controlled drugs, the trafficking, manufacture, import, export, possession or consumption of these substances will constitute an offence under the MDA. Any person found guilty of trafficking Class A controlled drugs will face a minimum of five years’ imprisonment and five strokes of the cane. They will also be liable for enhanced penalties if they re-offend or sell to young or vulnerable persons. CNB will also be empowered to subject NPS abusers to supervision, commit them to a drug rehabilitation centre for treatment and rehabilitation, or charge them in court.

Global NPS Situation

3          There has been a rapid increase in the number, type and availability of NPS across the globe. Many of these NPS have been reported in overseas journals to have no licit medical use. Their abuse has been linked to adverse physical and psychological reactions, including paranoia, seizures, hallucinations and even death. Based on the latest report from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime-Synthetics Monitoring Analyses, Reporting and Trends (UNODC-SMART) Programme in Feb 2019, a total of 892 different substances had been detected and reported to the UNODC from 2009 up to Dec 2018[2].

4          The listing of the new NPS to the First Schedule will allow CNB to take decisive action against the abuse and trafficking of such substances.



22 Mar 2019




Annex A


The Drugs listed to the First Schedule as Class A Controlled Drugs

(With effect from 25 Mar 2019)


  1. Methyl 2-[1-(4-fluorobutyl)-1H-indazole-3-carboxamido]-3,3-dimethylbutanoate (also known as 4-Fluoro-MDMB-BINACA) and its hexanoate isomers and their respective fluoro positional isomers in the butyl group


  2. 2-[1-(4-Fluorobutyl)-1H-indazole-3-carboxamido]-3,3-dimethylbutanoic acid and its hexanoic acid isomers and their respective fluoro positional isomers in the butyl group


  3. Methyl 2-[1-(4-hydroxybutyl)-1H-indazole-3-carboxamido]-3,3-dimethylbutanoate and its hexanoate isomers and their respective hydroxy positional isomers in the butyl group



[1] New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) refer to substances that produce the same (or similar) effects as controlled drugs such as cannabis, cocaine, “ecstasy”, methamphetamine or heroin.

[2] UNODC-SMART, February 2019 : Almost 900 NPS reported to UNODC from 119 countries and territories. ( Source: https://www.unodc.org/LSS/Announcement/Details/eff8dc38-7ab0-42b0-8cd9-753b89953fcc )