Despite the common drug problem we face, we are all bound by our cultural and social uniqueness, so will choose to respond in differing ways.
Singapore’s anti-drug strategy includes both supply and demand reduction. This includes an integrated approach of tough legislation, vigorous enforcement, rehabilitation and aftercare.
We recognise the importance of drug prevention. Treatment and rehabilitation are also major tools in combating drugs. People using drugs are initiated into treatment programmes instead of going to prison, which means they avoid the stigma of a criminal record. Education is a key part of our rehabilitation programmes. Treatment and rehabilitation are also provided by community organisations using a variety of models.
In 2002, doctors began prescribing buprenorphine for opioid dependence. However, addicts began using it intravenously, often mixed with sleeping pills. This introduced injecting drug use to Singapore, which had previously low levels of injecting. The government responded by scehduling buprenorphine as a controlled drug in 2006.
Every state has the right to choose their own response to the drug problem. We respect this diversity and difference.