From 1 July 2005, first- and second-time abusers of MDMA (“Ecstasy”), Ketamine, Methamphetamine (“Ice” or “Yaba”) and Nimetazepam (Erimin-5) will undergo a new rehabilitation regime in Drug Rehabilitation Centres (DRCs).
2. The new rehabilitation regime is specially tailored to the needs of these synthetic drugs and nimetazepam abusers. Targeting their substance abuse problem and related psycho-social needs, the comprehensive programme will equip the abusers with the knowledge, skills and guidance they need to be weaned off the drugs. The aim of the regime is to rehabilitate abusers so that they will not return to their drug taking habits, and can become useful citizens again. These abusers will have a better chance at rehabilitation without the stigmatisation of a criminal record.
In-care and Aftercare Treatment
3. The regime will include an institutional phase at the DRCs where abusers will participate in the in-care treatment programme. The abusers will be assessed by Prisons Counsellors and their treatment will be tailored to fit each individual’s rehabilitation needs, addiction severity and readiness for change and treatment. After completing the first phase of the regime in the DRCs, abusers who are assessed to be suitable for community based rehabilitation will be emplaced at their homes or at halfway houses to continue the treatment. These abusers are also required to report for regular urine tests. Those abusers assessed to be unsuitable for community based rehabilitation will continue with the follow-up treatment programmes in the DRCs.
4. Those who have completed the treatment will be discharged and they will receive aftercare support services from Singapore Anti-Narcotics Association (SANA) or Singapore After-Care Association (SACA). They will also be placed on urine supervision by the Central Narcotics Bureau.
Long-Term Imprisonment Regime
5. While a rehabilitative approach is taken for first- and second-time MDMA, Ketamine, Methamphetamine and Nimetazepam abusers, there is also a need to punish recalcitrant abusers for persisting with their drug habit and to deter potential drug abusers from falling into the drug trap. The Ministry of Home Affairs is considering a Long-Term imprisonment regime for those who abuse the drugs for the third time or more. Such a Long-Term imprisonment regime will be similar to the current approach taken for heroin abusers.
6. The introduction of the new rehabilitation regime is part of our comprehensive and multi-pronged strategy to deal with the drug problem, which also include proactive preventive drug education, strict laws and vigorous enforcement. We will continue with this multi-pronged strategy to help us ensure that the drug situation in Singapore remains well under control.