DRUG SITUATION REPORT 2005


Overview

The drug situation in Singapore remains well under control with further decline in the number of drug abusers arrested in 2005. Drug abusers arrested registered a fall of 17% as compared to 2004. The situation amongst new drug abusers has also improved with a 25% decrease in new abusers arrested.

Last year, CNB mounted 48 major operations against drug traffickers and abusers, which resulted in the break up of 27 syndicated drug trafficking activities.

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Local Abuser Arrested

Local Drug Abuser (Total and New) Arrested in 2005

The local drug situation has continued to improve with a further decline in the number of drug abusers arrested in 2005. The total number of drug abusers arrested decreased by 17% from 955 in 2004 to 793 in 2005.

The situation amongst new abusers also registered sustained improvement. 453 new abusers were arrested in 2005, a 25% decline as compared to 2004.

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Local Abuser By Drug Type

 

Similar to the trend in 2003 and 2004, abusers of synthetic drugs formed the majority of abusers arrested in 2005 at 79%. Heroin abusers formed only 8% of total abusers arrested.

Testing for the consumption of nimetazepam was introduced in 2004. In that year, nimetazepam abusers formed 20% of abusers arrested. In 2005, nimetazepam abusers have overtaken the other drug types to form the largest proportion of abusers arrested at 26%. Together with ketamine, they accounted for 50% of the abusers arrested in 2005.

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Comparison of total abusers with 2004

Comparison of total abusers with 2004

Heroin abusers fell by 44% while cannabis abusers registered a slight decline of 13%. As a group, synthetic drug abusers fell by 13%, from 723 arrested in 2004 to 629 arrested last year. Individually, the number of ketamine abusers fell significantly by 37% while 'Ecstasy' abusers fell by 10%. The number of methamphetamine and nimetazepam abusers registered slight increases of 14% and 6% respectively. There were no local cocaine abusers arrested last year.

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New Abusers by Drug Type

New abusers by drug type in 2005

87% of new abusers arrested last year took synthetic drugs. New heroin abusers formed only 2% of new abusers arrested last year.

Nimetazepam abusers formed the largest proportion of new abusers arrested at 29% while ketamine abusers formed the second largest proportion at 27%.

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Comparison of new abusers with 2004

Comparison of new abusers with 2004

Amongst new abusers, only new abusers of nimetazepam registered an increase of 15%. New abusers of all the other drug types registered declines, notably ketamine abusers which fell by 43%.

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Ethnicity

Abusers by race in 2005

Drug abusers across all ethnic groups registered declines in 2005. The number of Chinese abusers fell by 16% while the number of Malay abusers fell by 25% and Indian abusers fell by 19%.

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Age Group

Abusers by age group in 2005

Abusers across all age groups also registered declines in 2005. The most significant improvement came from abusers below 20 years old with a 47% decline in abusers arrested.

In terms of composition, abusers in the 20 to 29 age group continue to form a larger percentage of abusers arrested at 48%.

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Drug Seizures

Drug Type 2004 2005
Buprenorphine
Cannabis 9 kg 4.2 kg
Cocaine 0.06 kg 0.02 kg
'Ecstasy' 6,441 tablets 4,434 tablets
Heroin 4.5 kg 6.3 kg
'Ice' 0.4 kg 0.5 kg
Ketamine 4.7 kg 8.5 kg
Nimetazepam 156,922 tablets 20,833 tablets
'Yaba' 16,235 tablets 83 tablets

Seizures of drugs were low in the last two years. Only seizures of ketamine increased as compared to 2004.

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Conclusion

The year 2005 recorded further declines in the number of total and new drug abusers arrested. Noteworthy also is the sustained improvement in the synthetic drug abuse situation as well as the heroin abuse situation.

But while the local synthetic drug situation has improved, the trafficking and abuse of synthetic drugs continues to be a major concern in the region. In the last two years, clandestine laboratories used for the production of methamphetamine and 'Ecstasy' were dismantled in some of the regional countries. Sizeable drug storage facilities were also discovered.

The integrated approach of rigorous and effective enforcement, preventive drug education, tough legislation, dedicated treatment and rehabilitation as well as aftercare support and community involvement remains critical and relevant in keeping the local drug situation under firm control.

Central Narcotics Bureau
February 2006

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Last updated: 16 Apr 2019