Drugs and Inhalants


The list of drugs and inhalants controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act and Intoxicating Substances Act include:

Buprenorphine

Also known as

  • Subutex, tec, su su

Description

  • Subutex comes in 2 mg and 8 mg pills. Its active ingredient is Buprenorphine Hydrochloride, which is a semi-synthetic opioid derivative closely related to Morphine.
  • Subutex is taken sublingually i.e. place under the tongue until it dissolves. However, abusers mix it with other prescription drugs and inject it for a greater 'high'.

Effects and Dangers

  • Sedation
  • Light-headedness
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Vomiting

Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Delirium tremens, clouding of consciousness and severe tremors or seizures
  • Anxiety, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea
  • Abdominal cramps, muscle and joint pains
  • Insomnia (difficulty in sleeping)

Medical complications arising from intravenous abuse of Subutex especially when mixed with other prescription drugs:

  • Clogging of veins leading to gangrene.
  • Breathing problems (respiratory depression) which can lead to death.

The sharing of needles can also cause the spread of Hepatitis B and C and the HIV virus if the needles are contaminated.

Penalties

Possession or consumption of Buprenorphine:

  • Up to 10 years of imprisonment or S$20,000 fine or BOTH

Illegal traffic of Buprenorphine:

  • Up to 20 years of imprisonment and 15 strokes of the cane

Illegal import or export of Buprenorphine:

  • Up to 30 years of imprisonment or imprisonment for life and 15 strokes of the cane

 


BZP and TFMPP

1-benzylpiperazine (commonly known as BZP), 1-(3-trifluoromethylphenyl)piperazine (commonly known as TFMPP) were listed as Class A controlled drugs in the First Schedule of the Misuse of Drugs Act on 15 November 2010.

Also known as

  • BZP, TFMPP, 'Party Pills'

Description

  • BZP and TFMPP belong to a group of drugs known as piperazines.
  • Both are stimulants of the central nervous system and are known to produce stimulant and hallucinatory effects similar to MDMA, commonly known as 'Ecstasy'.
  • Both BZP and TFMPP are known to be distributed as tablets resembling 'Ecstasy'.
  • They may also be known as "party pills".

Effects and Dangers

  • Seizures
  • Vomiting
  • Heavy Sweating
  • Hyperthermia (increased temperature of the body)
  • Tachycardia (increased number of heart beats)
  • Agitation

Penalties

Possession or consumption of BZP and TFMPP:

  • Up to 10 years' imprisonment or $20,000 fine or both

Illegal traffic of BZP and TFMPP:

  • Up to 20 years' imprisonment and 15 strokes of the cane

Illegal import or export of BZP and TFMPP:

  • Up to 30 years of imprisonment or imprisonment for life and 15 strokes of the cane

 


Cannabis

Also known as

  • Marijuana, Pot, Grass, Joints, Ganja, Hashish, Weed

Description

  • Cannabis comes from the hemp plant. It can come in various forms – ‘loose’ cannabis leaves, compressed blocks, corn cob-shaped, oil, etc.
  • It contains THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) which affect one’s mood – causing euphoria, and also anxiety, disorientation or paranoia.
  • Cannabis can affect concentration and memory which weakens the abuser’s ability to learn.

Adverse effects of short-term use and long-term or heavy use of cannabis[1]

Effects of short-term use

  • Impaired short-term memory, making it difficult to learn and to retain information.
  • Impaired motor co-ordination, interfering with driving skills and increasing the risk of injuries.
  • In high dose, can cause paranoia and psychosis.

Effects of long-term or heavy use

  • Addiction. The earlier one begins to abuse drugs, the higher the risk of addiction.
  • Altered brain development. Adults who smoke cannabis regularly during adolescence have impaired neural connectivity (fewer fibres) in specific brain regions.
  • Cognitive impairment, with lower IQ among those who were frequent users in adolescence.
  • Symptoms of chronic bronchitis.
  • Poor education outcome, with increased likelihood of dropping out of school.

Cannabis withdrawal symptoms

  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Sleeping difficulties
  • Craving for the drug

Cannabis is also listed as a Schedule I drug in the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs.  The 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs is an international agreement to control the cultivation of opium poppy, coca bush, cannabis plant, and their products which are referred to as "narcotic drugs".  Singapore is one of the 184 signatories to the Convention.  Together with the other signatories, we are committed to prevent the misuse and illicit trafficking of these drugs, which include cannabis.

Penalties

Possession or consumption of cannabis:

  • Up to 10 years of imprisonment or S$20,000 fine or BOTH

Illegal traffic, import or export of:

  • Cannabis of more than 500 grams > May face the death penalty
  • Cannabis resin of more than 200 grams > May face the death penalty
  • Cannabis mixture of more than 1,000 grams > May face the death penalty

[1] “Adverse Health Effects of Marijuana Use”, The New England Journal of Medicine, 5 June 2014 National Institute on Drug Abuse


Cocaine

Also known as

  • Crack, Coke and Snow.

Description

  • Cocaine is derived from the leaves of the Erthroxylum Coca plant. In its pure form, Cocaine is a white crystalline powder and it is either sniffed in powder form or injected into the body in liquid form.
  • Cocaine is both a central nervous system stimulant and an anaesthetic. The chronic Cocaine abuser is socially dangerous because of the mental abnormalities caused by the drug.

Effects and Dangers

  • Increased heart rate
  • Aggressive behaviour
  • Irritability
  • Nausea, shaking, blurred vision and hallucination

Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Anxiety, depression, anger and jittery feelings
  • Fatigue (extreme tiredness)
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of desire to do things

Penalties

Possession or consumption of Cocaine:

  • Up to 10 years of imprisonment or S$20,000 fine or BOTH

Illegal traffic, import or export of Cocaine of more than 30 grams:

  • May face the death penalty

 


Ecstasy

Chemical term:

  • Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)
  • Methylenedioxyethylamphetamine (MDEA)
  • Methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA)

Description

  • 'Ecstasy' refers to tablets containing MDMA, MDEA and MDA. These tablets come in different colours with different logos stamped on them. They are often sold in discos as well as night joints. People take them to enable them to dance all night and sometimes they die from exhaustion and dehydration.
  • Other controlled drugs such as Ketamine and Methamphetamine, and chemicals such as paracetamol and calcium carbonate are often mixed with ‘Ecstasy’. This may cause bad reactions to the body.

Effects and Dangers

  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure
  • Jaw clenching, teeth grinding and uncontrollable shaking
  • Kidney, liver and brain damage
  • Long term memory loss
  • Chills, sweating and vomiting
  • Inability to think, see and co-ordinate properly
  • Hallucinations

Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Anxiety, depression and uncontrollable fear
  • Insomnia (difficulty in sleeping)
  • Loss of control of senses and reality

Penalties

Possession or consumption of ‘Ecstasy’:

  • Up to 10 years of imprisonment or S$20,000 fine or BOTH

Illegal traffic of ‘Ecstasy’:

  • Up to 20 years of imprisonment and 15 strokes of the cane

Illegal import or export of 'Ecstasy':

  • Up to 30 years of imprisonment or imprisonment for life and 15 strokes of the cane

 


Heroin

Also known as

  • White, Smack, Junk, Powder, Putih, Medicine, Ubat

Description

  • Heroin is a powerful and very addictive drug that comes in granular, powder or solution form. Heroin No. 4 is white in colour while Heroin No. 3 is more yellowish.
  • Heroin abusers feel dull and tired very easily. They cannot work properly as they are not able to concentrate.
  • "Chasing the Dragon", a common method of abuse used by Heroin abusers here, involves heating the Heroin powder and sniffing the fumes through a rolled note.

Effects and Dangers

  • Lowered heart rate and respiration
  • Damage to lungs, kidneys and liver
  • Dull feeling and tiredness
  • Difficulty in concentrating
  • Constipation

Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Insomnia (difficulty in sleeping)
  • Watery eyes and runny nose
  • Irritable and jittery feelings
  • Tremors and bodily cramps
  • Chills and sweating
  • Diarrhoea and vomiting

Penalties

Possession or consumption of Heroin

  • Up to 10 years of imprisonment or S$20,000 fine or BOTH

Illegal traffic, import or export of Heroin of more than 15 grams’:

  • May face the death penalty

 


Inhalants

Also known as

  • Glue-Sniffing, Solvent Abuse, Solvent Inhalation, Solvent Sniffing

Description

  • Some substances, such as glue and paint thinner, give off vapours and fumes. The sniffing of such vapours or fumes is known as inhalant abuse.
  • Inhalant abuse affects the growth and development of muscles, nerves and organs.
  • If you are an inhalant abuser, normal activities like running and shouting can cause death by heart failure. An inhalant abuser may die from suffocation anytime. This is known as Sudden Sniffing Death. It can happen on the very first time or any other time the abuser sniffs glue.

Effects and Dangers

  • Permanent damage to brain, liver and kidneys
  • Prone to bleeding and bruises
  • Memory loss
  • Difficulty in learning and seeing things clearly
  • Loss of control of body
  • Cramps, pains and bad cough

Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Anxiety, depression and irritability
  • Aggressive behaviour
  • Dizziness, shaking and nausea
  • Insomnia (difficulty in sleeping)

Penalties

Abuse of intoxicating substances:

  • Admission to an approved centre for treatment and rehabilitation for up to 6 months, or up to 6 months of imprisonment or S$2,000 fine or BOTH

Selling or offering to sell an intoxicating substance when it is suspected that the substance is for the purpose of intoxication:

  • Up to 2 years of imprisonment or S$5,000 fine or BOTH

 


Ketamine

Also known as

  • K, Special K, Vitamin K, Kit Kat.

Description

  • Ketamine is an anaesthetic for veterinary as well as human use. The drug takes the form of a white crystalline powder, liquid or tablet. As a drug of abuse in Hong Kong, the United States and Australia, Ketamine has become common at dance parties or 'raves'.
  • Ketamine produces a progression of effects on the abuser, from a state of dreamy intoxication to delirium accompanied by the inability to move, feel pain or remember what has occurred under the drug’s influence. The effects of Ketamine last an hour or less but the drug can affect the senses, judgement and co-ordination for 18 to 24 hours.

Effects and Dangers

  • Inability to move
  • Distorted judgement, perception, hearing, sight, touch, smell and taste
  • Confusion and hallucinations
  • Problems associated with the nose (nose bleeding, inability to smell properly)
  • Gastric pains
  • Urinary and bladder problems (difficulty in urinating, urinary tract infection)

Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Depression, anger and irritability
  • Fatigue (extreme tiredness)
  • Insomnia (difficulty in sleeping)

Penalties

Possession or consumption of Ketamine:

  • Up to 10 years of imprisonment or S$20,000 fine or BOTH

Illegal traffic of Ketamine:

  • Up to 20 years of imprisonment and 15 strokes of the cane

Illegal import or export of Ketamine:

  • Up to 30 years of imprisonment or imprisonment for life and 15 strokes of the cane

 


Lysergide LSD

Also known as

  • Acid, Trips, Blotters, Tabs, Stamp, Black Sesame, Seed, Micro, Micro Dot.

Description

  • Lysergide (LSD) is a hallucinogen. It is often sold on blotting paper, which is usually imprinted with a colourful cartoon or design. Although abusers generally take it orally, the tabs of blotting paper are also placed on skin areas that readily absorb the drug into the bloodstream, for example, under the eyelid.
  • When ingested, LSD takes effect within 30 minutes.
  • Its effects are strongest after 3 to 5 hours and can last up to 12 hours. Bad 'trips' can trigger severe panics, paranoia and confusion. After a 'trip', the abuser may feel depressed.

Effects and Dangers

  • Increased heart rate, breathing and body temperature
  • Numbness
  • Distorted sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste
  • Loss of control of thoughts
  • Severe panic, paranoia, confusion and hallucinations

Penalties

Possession or consumption of LSD:

  • Up to 10 years of imprisonment or S$20,000 fine or BOTH

Illegal traffic of LSD:

  • Up to 20 years of imprisonment and 15 strokes of the cane

Illegal import or export of LSD:

  • Up to 30 years of imprisonment or imprisonment for life and 15 strokes of the cane

 


mephedrone

4-methylmethcathinone (commonly known as Mephedrone) was listed as Class A controlled drugs in the First Schedule of the Misuse of Drugs Act on 15 November 2010

Also known as

  • Mephedrone, Bubbles, mcat, Snow and Meow.

Description

  • Mephedrone is a stimulant drug derived from cathinone, which is a Class A controlled drug.
  • Mephedrone is marketed as a substitute to 'Ecstasy' and amphetamines.
  • Mephedrone abuse is known to cause cravings and dependence.

Effects and Dangers

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Chills
  • Bruxism
  • Insomnia
  • Hallucinations
  • Psychosis

Penalties

Possession or consumption of Mephedrone:

  • Up to 10 years' imprisonment or $20,000 fine or both

Illegal traffic of Mephedrone:

  • Up to 20 years' imprisonment and 15 strokes of the cane

Illegal import or export of Mephedrone:

  • Up to 30 years of imprisonment or imprisonment for life and 15 strokes of the cane

 

Methamphetamine

Also known as

  • 'Ice', Glass, Crystal, Speed, 'Quartz', 'Ice Cream', 'Hirropon', 'Ya ba', Shabu or Syabu.

Description

  • Methamphetamine in its crystallised form is known as methamphetamine hydrochloride. It usually comes in the form of a colourless and odourless crystal that resembles glass fragments or shiny blue-white "rocks" of various sizes. This explains why it is more commonly known as 'Ice' in Singapore.
  • Methamphetamine also comes in tablet form. In this form, it is also known as 'Crazy Horse Pill' or 'Ya ba'. Most of the 'Ya ba' tablets found in Singapore are embossed with the 'WY' logo and are green or orange in colour.
  • Methamphetamine is highly addictive and is a strong stimulant. It has a very strong effect on the central nervous system.

Withdrawal symptoms / Side effects

  • Disorientation, apathy, confused exhaustion
  • Strong psychological dependence
  • Psychosis
  • Depression
  • Damage to the brain similar to Alzheimer's disease, stroke and epilepsy
  • Aggression and violent behaviour
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Insomnia
  • Auditory hallucinations

Negative effects (Physical)

  • Permanent damage to blood vessels of heart and brain, high blood pressure leading to heart attacks, strokes and death
  • Liver, kidney and lung damage
  • Destruction of tissues in nose if sniffed
  • Respiratory (breathing) problems if smoked
  • Infectious diseases and abscesses if injected
  • Malnutrition, weight loss
  • Severe tooth decay

Penalties

Possession or consumption of methamphetamine:

  • Up to 10 years of imprisonment or S$20,000 fine or BOTH

Manufacture of methamphetamine or any salt of methamphetamine upon conviction is death.

Illegal traffic, import or export of methamphetamine of more than 250 grams > may face the death penalty

NPS

New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) were listed as Class A controlled drugs in the First Schedule of the Misuse of Drugs Act on 1 May 2014.

Also known as

  • Spice, K2, Bath Salts, Kronic, Bromo-Dragonfly

Description

  • NPS are substances of abuse, either in a pure form or a preparation, that are not controlled by international drug conventions, but which may pose a public health threat
  • An umbrella term for unregulated (new) psychoactive substances or products intended to mimic the effects of controlled drugs.
  • IIncludes Mephedrone and BZP and TFMPP
  • No known medical or industrial use

Negative effects

NPS have unknown, dangerous toxicology effects and are as addictive and harmful as controlled drugs. Abuse can lead to

  • Severe intoxications1
  • Severe toxic reaction leading to death2
  • Paranoia3
  • Hallucinations4,5
  • Adverse cardiovascular problems6
  • Renal failure7
  • Seizures8,9

Penalties

Possession or consumption of NPS:

  • Up to 10 years of imprisonment, or $20,000 fine, or BOTH.

Illegal traffic, manufacture, import or export of NPS:

  • Minimum of 5 years of imprisonment with 5 strokes of the cane.

References

1,2 UNODC leaflet on NPS.
3 US Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration "Drugs of Abuse", 2011 report
4 The Challenge of NPS, UNODC Global Smart Programme 2013
5 US Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration "Drugs of Abuse", 2011 report
6 The Challenge of NPS, UNODC Global Smart Programme 2013
7 The Challenge of NPS, UNODC Global Smart Programme 2013
8 Perspectives on drugs - Synthetic cannabinoids in Europe, by European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction
9 The Challenge of NPS, UNODC Global Smart Programme 2013

 


Nimetazepam

Also known as

  • 'Erimin-5'.

Description

  • 'Erimin-5' is a type of depressant taken orally by the user in tablet form. Depressants are drugs which help a person to calm down and sleep. However, excessive use will lead to harmful effects.

Effects and Dangers

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Distorted judgement, sight and thinking
  • Difficulty in speaking, moving and co-ordinating bodily functions
  • Poor memory and concentration

Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Anxiety and jittery feelings
  • Insomnia (difficulty in sleeping)
  • Nausea, vomiting, quickened heart beat, excessive sweating, violent shaking and stomach cramps
  • Mental confusion
  • Fits

Penalties

Possession or consumption of Nimetazepam:

  • Up to 10 years of imprisonment or S$20,000 fine or BOTH

Illegal traffic of Nimetazepam:

  • Up to 10 years of imprisonment and 5 strokes of the cane

Illegal import or export of Nimetazepam:

  • Up to 20 years of imprisonment and 15 strokes of the cane

 


Last updated: 24 May 2018