Misuse of Drugs Act

28 Sep 2018

            With effect from 1 Oct 2018, the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) will be listing four New Psychoactive Substances (NPS)[1], three NPS metabolites and an opioid analgesic to the First Schedule of the Misuse of Drugs Act (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. Based on the World Drug Report 2018, there were 803 NPS reported in the period of 2009 to 2017[2]. 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. CNB monitors the emergence of NPS on the global drug scene and will take steps to control newly-emerged NPS under the MDA.





Annex A

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

(With effect from 1 Oct 2018)


  1. [1-(5-Hydroxypent-1-yl)-1H-indazol-3-yl](naphthalen-1-yl)methanone and its hydroxy positional isomers in the pentyl group
  2. 5-[3-(1-Naphthoyl)-1H-indazol-1-yl]-pentanoic acid
  3. 2-[1-(4-Fluorobenzyl)-1H-indazole-3-carboxamido]-3-methylbutanoic acid and its 1-pentanoic acid and 2-methylbutanoic acid isomers and their respective fluoro positional isomers in the phenyl ring
  4. [1-(5-Bromopent-1-yl)-1H-indazol-3-yl](naphthalen-1-yl)methanone (also known as 5-Bromo-THJ-018) and its bromo positional isomers in the pentyl group
  5. [1-(5-Chloropent-1-yl)-1H-indazol-3-yl](naphthalen-1-yl)methanone (also known as 5-Chloro-THJ-018) and its chloro positional isomers in the pentyl group
  6. [1-(5-Iodopent-1-yl)-1H-indazol-3-yl](naphthalen-1-yl)methanone (also known as 5-Iodo-THJ-018) and its iodo positional isomers in the pentyl group
  7. Ethyl 2-[1-(4-fluorobenzyl)-1H-indazole-3-carboxamido]-3-methylbutanoate (also known as EMB-FUBINACA or AEB-FUBINACA or FUB-AEB) and its pentanoate isomers and their respective fluoro positional isomers in the phenyl ring
  8. 4-Phenyl-N-(2-phenylethyl)piperidin-4-yl acetate (also known as 1-Phenethyl-4-phenyl-4-piperidinol acetate or PEPAP)



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

[2] UNODC World Drug Report (2018). Executive Summary: Conclusions and Policy Implications.

Last updated: 6 Jul 2017