30 Apr 2015



With effect from 1 May 2015, the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) will be listing all 14 psychoactive substances currently in the Fifth Schedule of the Misuse of Drugs Act (MDA), in the First Schedule of the same Act. This means that these substances will be reclassified as Class A controlled drugs (see Annex A for the list of drugs). In addition, a new psychoactive substance, commonly known as AH-7921, will also be listed in the First Schedule as a Class A controlled drug (see Annex B).

At the same time, 18 new substances will be listed in the Fifth Schedule of the MDA (see Annex C).


There has been a rapid increase in the number, type and availability of New Psychoactive Substances (NPS)[1] across the globe. Based on the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime World Drug Report 2014, there are at least 450 NPS identified in 2014, a significant increase from the 2009 figure of 126[2]..

Many of these NPS have been reported in overseas journals to have no licit medical use and their abuse has been linked to adverse physical and psychological reactions, including paranoia, seizures, hallucinations and even death. Although there is currently only a small number of abusers arrested for NPS abuse in Singapore, this is a necessary pre-emptive move to restrict the circulation of these harmful substances in our community.

Following the listing of the 15 NPS 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.


30 APRIL 2015

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[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 EWA – Survey on NPS reveals 69 newly emerged substances in 2014,. Retrieved on 16 Apr 2015 from https://www.unodc.org/LSS/Announcement/Details/4fa8b728-dd76-4c3f-b2c5-f645ed05add3