2. 2,616 drug abusers were arrested in 2009. This was a 3% increase from the 2,537 abusers arrested in 2008. 46% of the abusers arrested were new abusers.
3. The number of repeat abusers arrested declined by 4%, but repeat abusers continued to form the majority (54%) of all drug abusers arrested. Amongst them, 67% were liable for long-term imprisonment of between five to thirteen years. They will be kept away and prevented from perpetuating their drug abuse habits and contaminating others.
Abusers by Drug Type
4. Heroin remained the most commonly abused drug with 54% of drug abusers arrested were found to have used heroin. The number of heroin abusers arrested increased from 1,216 in 2008 to 1,425 in 2009, a 17% increase. The number of buprenorphine abusers arrested continued to show a significant improvement by registering a 55% decline and the share of buprenorphine abusers shrank from 18% in 2008 to 8% in 2009.
5. Methamphetamine replaced buprenorphine as the second most commonly abused drug in 2009, as methamphetamine abusers formed 21% of all drug abusers arrested.
Drug Abusers by Age Group
6. The number of drug abusers arrested increased in the age groups of those below 20 and 20-29 while decreased in the age groups of 30-39 and 40 and above. Drug abusers aged 40 and above continued to form the majority at 43%.
Abusers by Ethnic Group
7. The number of Malay drug abusers registered an increase of 3% while the number of Indian drug abusers registered an increase of 13%. The number of Chinese abusers showed a slight decline.
8. Larger quantities of Cannabis, Ecstasy, Ice, Nimetazepam and Yaba were seized in 2009 than in 2008. Working in close partnership with the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority, CNB managed to nab more traffickers at the checkpoints and stop drugs from entering Singapore. CNB also works closely with regional counterparts to disrupt the supply of drugs into Singapore.
Inhalant Abuse Situation
9. The inhalant abuse situation improved slightly in 2009. Compared to 2008, the number of inhalant abusers arrested in 2009 decreased by 2 persons. New inhalant abusers continued to form the majority at 66% and the number of repeat inhalant abusers arrested decreased by 2%.
Inhalant abusers by Age-Group
10. The age profile of inhalant abusers arrested remained similar to previous years. Youth inhalant abusers, i.e. those under 20 years of age, made up the majority at 71%; while inhalant abusers from the other age groups registered declines.
Inhalant Abusers by Ethnic Group
11. Chinese inhalant abusers continued to form the majority at 46%, followed by Malays at 37% and Indians at 15%.
Countering Inhalant Abuse with Shopkeepers and Partners
12. In tandem with intensive enforcement efforts against inhalant abusers, CNB continued to tackle the inhalant abuse problem from the supply side. CNB produced a new set of anti-inhalant abuse posters for shopkeepers and retailers to display in their retail premises. These posters, which come in all 4 official languages, contain information on the penalties for abusing and selling intoxicating substances to suspected abusers. CNB also visited more than 300 shops last year to advise shopkeepers on controlling the sale of inhalant products.
13. CNB's inter-agency collaborations with key stakeholders such as the Singapore Police Force, Singapore Prison Service, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Community Development Youth and Sports are ongoing and their support has reinforced CNB's enforcement efforts against student and youth inhalant abusers. For example, CNB and the schools have in place a case reporting and management framework to facilitate schools' referrals of suspected drug or inhalant abusers to CNB. CNB also conducts assembly talks in schools to spread the anti-inhalant message.
Broadening Our Preventive Drug Education Efforts
14. On the preventive education front, CNB also undertook new initiatives to broaden our outreach. In June last year, CNB launched our preventive drug education Facebook fan page, 'Life Does Not Rewind' to remind the public not to make the mistake of abusing drugs. This initiative attracted 22,000 fans. A new tagline 'Live It Loud' has also been developed to motivate youths to make the right decisions and to encourage them to contribute actively and build resilience.
15. Moving forward, CNB will be adopting a twin tagline strategy of 'kNOw Drugs' and 'Live It Loud' to target different groups within the youth population, and continue building on our existing outreach efforts to send a clear anti-drug message to the general youth population.
CNB Keeps a Close Watch
16. CNB remains cognisant that regional and international developments in the illicit drug scene are external factors which may impact the local drug situation. CNB will continue to keep a close watch on such developments and the local drug situation.
17. CNB will press on with enforcement efforts and will continue with our focused anti-drug checks to stop the flow of drugs into Singapore by working closely with our Home Team partners – the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority and the Singapore Police Force.
18. CNB will also work closely with partner agencies in the community, as these partnerships provide vital links to deepen and extend our preventive education outreach to the youths, ex-abusers and their families.
Central Narcotics Bureau
29 Jan 2009
(Updated Jan 2012)