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Three Things You Should Know About CNB’s Annual Statistics Report 2019
What it takes to keep Singapore drug-free.

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GRAPHIC: Home Team News

This week, the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) released it’s 2019 Annual Statistics Report on how Singapore is faring in our fight against the scourge of drugs. Here are three things you should know about it. 

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On the move: Last year, CNB conducted around 1,400 enforcement operations in Singapore and dismantled 28 drug syndicates. PHOTOS: CNB

1.  Singapore remains relatively drug-free
Singapore’s comprehensive approach to tackling drug supply and demand has enabled us to remain relatively drug-free, despite the challenging global and regional drug situation. 

One factor that has empowered CNB to keep pace with the fast-changing drug landscape is the operationalisation of the Misuse of Drugs (Amendment) Act in 2019. The new provisions and powers enhance the robustness of our anti-drug framework and ensure that Singapore’s drug laws remain effective and relevant.

Enforcement is essential too. In 2019, CNB conducted around 1,400 enforcement operations in Singapore and dismantled 28 drug syndicates. Working closely with their Home Team counterparts, CNB officers also conducted operations at our land, air and sea checkpoints to intercept drugs entering Singapore.

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Sharing the anti-drug message: Collaborating with community partners and schools remains a priority for CNB. PHOTOS: CNB

2. There are two main areas of concern
However, CNB noted two areas of concern – the number of new drug abusers and the increasing threat posed by New Psychoactive Substances (NPS). These contain ingredients that mimic the same effect as controlled drugs such as cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin or cannabis. 

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(1) The number of new abusers remains high: In 2019, the proportion of new drug abusers continued to remain high at 42%, with 61% of new drug abusers arrested being under 30 years old. 

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(2) NPS pose a growing threat: In 2019, there was also an increase in the number of abusers arrested for the abuse of NPS and methamphetamine. In fact, NPS, methamphetamine and heroin were the three most commonly abused drugs last year, with 93% of drug abusers abusing at least one of these substances. 

NPS also overtook cannabis as the second most commonly abused drug among new drug abusers, with 92% of such abusers arrested for abusing at least one of these three substances – NPS, cannabis and methamphetamine. 

CNB continually reviews its anti-drug strategy to stay ahead of the evolving drug landscape. For example, 31 new NPS were listed as Class A controlled drugs under the Misuse of Drugs Act in 2019 to strengthen enforcement efforts. 

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Interactive engagement and beyond: At roadshows and carnivals, CNB has pioneered the use of Augmented Reality to teach youths about the harm of drug abuse. Events like the DrugFreeSG Light-up in June 2019 also demonstrate the community’s commitment to fighting drugs. PHOTOS: CNB

3. CNB is reaching out to youths and families in fresh new ways 
Protecting our youths and families from the harm caused by drugs remains a priority for CNB. To share the anti-drug message with youths, in 2019, CNB intensified its outreach efforts on various fronts. These include boosting outreach efforts through social media, stepping up engagements with parents and students, and using Augmented Reality technology to enhance Preventive Drug Education content. 

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Ground-up and together: The BEN campaign (top photos) follows the lead of the Dadah Itu Haram campaign by taking the anti-drug message into the heart of their respective communities. PHOTOS: CNB, Dadah Itu Haram FB

In September 2019, CNB also expanded its outreach efforts within the Indian community by launching the Bothaiporulai Ethirthu Nirpom (BEN) or “We Stand United Against Drugs” campaign. The BEN campaign draws upon lessons of the Dadah Itu Haram movement, which has attract strong support from the Malay-Muslim community following its launch in April 2017. 

The fight against the scourge of drugs is an ongoing one that combines Preventive Drug Education; tough laws and effective enforcement; strategic international engagement; and evidence-based treatment and rehabilitation. Together, we can keep our homes, streets and communities drug-free! Check out CNB's 2019 Annual Statistics Report.
© 2019 Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore. All Rights Reserved.

  1. by Mike Tan
  2. 07 February 2020
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