Singapore's zero tolerance policy on Drugs #DrugFreeSG
📷: Annual #DrugFreeSG Light-Up in 2021 to commemorate the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking on 26 June [CNB Drug Free SG FB]
#TIL that it is an offence for Singapore citizens and PRs to consume drugs overseas, as well as in Singapore. Our country’s zero-tolerance policy on drugs stands firm, as the world faces pervasive drug crimes: in Europe, the drug mafia’s “narco-terrorism” threatens the lives of civilians, law enforcement officers and policy makers. In the US, 100,000 people die from drug-abuse a year.
Singapore has avoided becoming a major transit point for drugs — despite being an international transport hub, and our close proximity to the “Golden Triangle”, a major global drug producing area. But it takes a lot of effort for us to do this: our own history is riddled with the drug menace, from the opium dens of the colonial era to the hippie culture of 1960s fuelled by marijuana and LSD.
The Singapore Way of battling drug abuse involves a set of measures that work together – tough laws and enforcement, preventive drug education, effective rehabilitation and after care. Singapore’s path of “harm prevention, rather than “harm reduction”, was outlined by Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean in a speech on 3 May 2023.
“In several other countries, drugs have become so prevalent and penetrated so deeply into their societies, that their enforcement, justice, healthcare, and social support systems are struggling to cope…they have reached the point where they have little choice but to allow drugs to circulate and be used openly, despite the known harms to their people. They speak of “harm reduction” as an approach.” he said.
“In Singapore, we choose the path of “harm prevention” – to prevent the harms that drugs can cause from entering and becoming pervasive in our society in the first place. Rather than try to reduce the harm after that has already happened and so much harm has already been done… We avoid being overwhelmed by this problem that has happened in so many other countries.”
Recent survey results from 6,500 randomly selected Singapore residents showed that our anti-drug policies, in particular the legal consequences of drug abuse, kept 74.4% of the respondents away from drugs. But the survey by the Institute of Mental Health also revealed that 0.7% of Singapore residents had abused drugs in the past 12 months (a scale of 18,000 residents in our population) and 41.8% of abusers said they started drug abuse before the age of 18.
The current rise in drug problems worldwide points to an increasing need for our community, schools, and families to collectively protect our youths. The Anti-Drug Abuse Advocacy Network (A3 Network) needs advocates: volunteers will be trained on Singapore’s anti-drug policies and serve as docents for anti-drug abuse events. The war against drugs is a long-standing battle that we all need to wage, together.
#TIL #Singapore #drugfree #saynotodrugs #antidrugs
📎 Apply to be an A3 Network volunteer here: https://www.mha.gov.sg/volunteers/home-team-volunteer-scheme/detail/Details/anti-drug-abuse-advocacy-(A3)-network-volunteers