Mr Shamsul Kamar, Vice Chairman, North East CDC, and Advisor to Kaki Bukit Grassroots Organisations
Associate Professor Chua Hong Choon, CEO, Institute of Mental Health
Dr Lee Cheng, Programme Director, National Addictions Management Service
1. Good morning everyone. I am very pleased to join all of you today in this very meaningful event.
2. The National Addictions Awareness Day first started in 2013 to educate the public on the various types of addictions, the preventive measures we can take against addiction, and the various treatment options for people suffering from addictions. This event is a show of our support for those seeking treatment, and on the road to recovery. Today is the fourth run of this community event and we are glad to bring residents in the north eastern part of Singapore to this event.
Encouraging Persons Suffering from Addictions to Come Forward
3. Addiction is dangerous and can affect anyone of us. The National Addictions Management Service or NAMS, has seen a gradual increase in the number of out-patient visits over the past few years. More have come forward. This is because of the various programmes initiated by NAMS to bring its services closer to the community.
4. I am glad to see that there are many who have recognised that they need help. This speaks of their willingness to seek help, and should inspire others to do the same so that they do not have to suffer their addictions in silence. There is help for everyone to deal with substance and behavioural addiction.
Community Support is Important in the Recovery Process
5. But NAMS cannot do it alone. The community and every one of us can play an important role in helping recovering patients get back on their feet. Reach out to your neighbours, your family members and other residents who are troubled with addiction issues. The support that we give them is crucial and can make a difference in their recovery.
6. NAMS will partner you in this community outreach to create more awareness on addiction issues. I encourage you, your friends and family members, to attend the upcoming talks and workshops, to learn more about addictions and be in a better position to help others.
7. Together as a community, we can help persons with addiction issues return to their addiction-free lives and support families who are deeply impacted.
8. I look forward to more of such collaborations with our community partners. Through these partnerships, we can better equip our community with knowledge and expertise to treat addiction problems more effectively.
Launch of Book Titled "Hope in Adversity"
9. This year marks the 10th anniversary of NAMS. NAMS has been providing treatment and support for addictions to drugs, alcohol, gambling and other issues. Its dedicated team of specialists has supported persons with addiction issues and their families throughout the road to recovery. To the NAMS team and all partners, I would like to thank you very much for your dedication, passion and commitment these past years. Your sacrifices have saved lives.
10. To commemorate the 10th anniversary of NAMS and the efforts of its staff, we are launching the book "Hope in Adversity". This book contains the real recovery stories of patients, caregivers and staff from NAMS. The courage and determination of the people featured in the book remind us that nothing is impossible.
11. Let me share the story of Ronnie. For 20 years of his life, he was caught in the web of drug and gambling addiction. He was in and out of prison more than five times. But NAMS played a critical part and turned his life around. He has stayed away from gambling and drugs for four years now. There are many other success stories which I hope all of us can take inspiration from.
12. To conclude, I would like to thank everyone who had played a part in helping others on the road to recovery. You have made a great difference.
13. I wish all of you a very good day. Thank you very much.