Singapore’s comprehensive drug control strategy tackles both drug supply and demand through preventive drug education, tough anti-drug laws, vigorous enforcement, strategic international engagement and effective rehabilitation and aftercare. Illicit drug abuse exacts a high cost on abusers, their families, and ultimately, society as a whole.
In 2020, the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) had conducted intensive enforcement operations and had dismantled 24 drug syndicates. CNB also worked closely with other Home Team agencies to conduct over 500 operations across Singapore, including at various checkpoints to intercept attempts to smuggle drugs into Singapore.
While the number of drug abusers arrested decreased by 15% in 2020, there were several worrying trends. The proportion of new drug abusers arrested remained high at 38%, and the proportion of new drug abusers arrested under 30 years old remained significant at 62%. Drug seizures also remained high in 2020.
CNB continually reviews our anti-drug strategy to stay ahead of the evolving drug landscape. In September 2020, the First Schedule to the MDA was further amended with the Synthetic Cannabinoid generic groups revised and expanded, and a new generic description to deal with Lysergic acid and diethylamide analogues was introduced to strengthen our enforcement levers against new psychoactive substances.
Despite the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, CNB has remained steadfast in its mission of keeping Singapore drug-free, while also contributing to the national COVID-19 response. Close to 100 CNB officers were involved in the national COVID-19 response by taking on duties including contact-tracing, conducting checks on persons subject to Stay-Home Notices (SHNs), as well as in managing dormitory operations. COVID-19 also did not put a stop to CNB’s preventive drug education (PDE) efforts and many outreach activities, including community engagement events and PDE talks, were brought online.
Singapore’s approach has worked well for us and has helped keep the drug situation under control. CNB will continue in our efforts to prevent drug abuse from harming our people and society, and keep Singapore drug-free for our future generations.
Click here to view the full statistical report.
Click here for an overview of CNB’s Preventive Drug Education and community engagement efforts in Year 2020.