Singapore’s comprehensive approach to tackling both drug supply and demand has enabled us to remain relatively drug-free.
However, we face challenges on the international, regional and local fronts. In particular, the production and trafficking of methamphetamine have increased to alarming levels, while the New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) market continues to evolve. There is also a push in some countries for alternative, liberal drug policies.
There are two key areas of concern on the local drug situation – (i) 40% of drug abusers arrested in 2018 were new abusers, and the proportion of new drug abusers below 30 years of age remained high at 64% in 2018; (ii) there was an 11% year-on-year increase in drug abusers arrested in 2018, primarily NPS and methamphetamine abusers.
Against this challenging backdrop, the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) remains steadfast and committed in the fight against drugs. To keep the drug situation under control, CNB maintained a high level of enforcement intensity in 2018 and worked closely with the other Home Team agencies and our strategic partners to conduct close to 1,600 operations targeting drug traffickers and abusers, as well as intercepting drugs at the checkpoints and disrupting the supply inland. 26 drug syndicates were dismantled.
Beyond enforcement, CNB works closely with the community and our partners under the United Against Drugs Coalition and our Anti-Drug Advocates to ensure that Preventive Drug Education remains our first line of defence for a Drug Free Singapore. The community is also encouraged to take a fervent stance against drug abuse and actively spread the anti-drug message.
On a legislative front, we continuously review our approach to ensure that it keeps pace with the evolving drug landscape. For example, amendments to the Misuse of Drugs Act have been made in January 2019 to strengthen our enforcement powers, and also enhance the rehabilitation regime.
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