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Foreword

Teachers have been the vital partners in guiding our youths towards making the right
decisions and leading a drug-free, healthy. The teachers significant role is also accentuated
in the National Council Against Drug Abuse (NCADA) 2009 Youth Perception Survey that
reveals that teachers, after family members, are the group which youths would consult on
drug and inhalant abuse matters.
Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB), as the lead agency for preventive drug education in Singapore,
distributes publications such as Choices, IN, Little Red Dot, essay booklets as well as anti-drug
posters and videos to schools to provide teachers with useful drug prevention information.
Customised seminars for teachers have also been organised since 1999. We have received
feedback at Teachers Seminars that the current materials are insufficient and it would be
useful if we can provide more materials for the teachers to use to educate their students on
the ills of drug abuse. The idea for a Teachers Resource Package was thus formed and the
Preventive Education Unit from CNB consulted MOEs Education Programmes Division and
Curriculum Planning and Development Division in developing the contents.
This resource package is produced to assist teachers in equipping the students with relevant
knowledge to lead a drug free lifestyle. It condenses relevant information on drugs and
inhalant abuse into a self contained package. There are suggested activities for teachers to
conduct drug education sessions for students. Teachers can utilise the relevant portions as
background reading for project work or classroom discussions. The resources can also be
reproduced easily for students, parents and staff.
This resource package provides a range of useful information, grouped into the following
sections:
Part 1: General Information on Drugs & Legislations
Part 2: Helping Students Stay Drug-Free
Part 3: Contacts and Helplines
Part 4: Preventive Drug Education in Schools
Part 5: Classroom Activities
Part 6: Articles of Interest
Part 7: Multimedia Resources
Brief information of the production team
The Preventive Education Unit (PEU) was formed in 1992 to promote a drug-free lifestyle
and zero tolerance attitude towards drug abuse through preventive drug education (PDE)
programmes with a primary focus on youths. PEU also works closely with the NCADA and
strategic partners such as schools, self-help groups, voluntary welfare organisations, non-
governmental organisations and grassroots organisations in the fight against drug abuse.
Besides conducting assembly talks, exhibitions and sharing sessions in schools, drug
rehabilitation centres and at workplaces for students, parents and young adults, PEU also
actively collaborates with community partners on drug awareness activities and workshops
to the expand the outreach of the PDE efforts.
Buprenorphine
Cannabis
Cocaine
Ecstasy
Heroin
Ketamine
Lysergide (LSD)
Methamphetamine
Nimetazepam
Inhalants
Legislations
General Information on
Drugs & Legislations
The PENALTIES
Possession or
consumption of
Buprenorphine
Up to 10 years
of imprisonment
or S$20,000 fine
or BOTH
Illegal traffic of
Buprenorphine
Up to 20 years
of imprisonment
and 15 strokes
of the cane
Illegal import or
export of Buprenorphine
Up to 30 years of
imprisonment or
imprisonment for
life and 15 strokes
of the cane
Buprenorphine
Also known as: Subutex / Tec / Su Su
Buprenorphine, the active ingredient in
Subutex, was listed as a Class A Controlled
Drug under the First Schedule of the Misuse
of Drugs Act (MDA) with effect from 14
August 2006.
Originally a prescription drug regulated by
the Ministry of Health (MOH), Subutex was
introduced in 2002 for use as a substitution
treatment for heroin drug abusers to reduce
the craving for heroin. However, drug addicts
were found abusing Subutex as a substitute
drug to heroin.
As a result of the reclassification under MDA,
the importation, distribution, possession
and consumption of Subutex are offences
unless specifically exempted by the relevant
authorities. Subutex is administered
sublingually by placing the tablet under
the tongue until it dissolves. It can also be
mixed with other drugs or substances and
administered via intravenous injection.
Whats This? Withdrawal Symptoms
Delirium tremens, clouding of
consciousness and severe tremors
or seizures
Anxiety, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea
Abdominal cramps, muscle and
joint pains
Insomnia (difficulty in sleeping)
Medical complications such as gangrene
and respiratory depression (which can lead
to death), may arise from intravenous abuse
of Subutex especially when mixed with
other prescription of drugs. The sharing
of needles can also cause the spread of
Hepatitis B and C and the HIV virus if the
needles are contaminated.
Effects & Dangers
Sedation
Light-headedness
Dizziness
Nausea
Constipation
Vomiting
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thd l S t
Part 1 General Information on Drugs & Legislations
Part 1 General Information on Drugs & Legislations
The PENALTIES
Cannabis
Also known as: Ganja / Grass / Pot / Marijuana / Joint
Cannabis comes from the hemp plant. The
whole plant is dried and compressed into
blocks until it looks like dried herbs or tea.
Cannabis is mainly smoked like cigarettes.
Cannabis causes a person's mind to become
addicted. It contains a chemical that affects
one's mood and the way one sees and hears
things. Cannabis affects one's concentration
and memory, hence it weakens the abuser's
ability to learn. Cannabis abusers are likely
to move on to stronger and deadlier drugs.
Whats This? Effects & Dangers
Withdrawal Symptoms
Moodiness, irritability, anxiety
and tension
Inability to concentrate
Slow reaction
Distorted thinking and
perception
Poor balance and
co-ordination
Extreme anxiety,
depression, confusion
and paranoia (irrational
fear or suspicion)
Decline in motivation
and drive in long term
users
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Possession or
consumption of
Cannabis
Up to 10 years
of imprisonment
or S$20,000 fine
or BOTH
Illegal traffic, import or export of:
Cannabis of more than 500 grams
Cannabis resin of more than 200 grams
Cannabis mixture of more than 1,000 grams
DEATH
ral Information on Drugs & Legislations
a / Joint
DEATH
Illegal traffic, import or export of
Cocaine of more than 30 grams
The PENALTIES
Possession or consumption
of Cocaine
Up to 10 years of
imprisonment or
S$20,000 fine or BOTH
Cocaine
Also known as: Crack / Coke / Snow
Cocaine is derived from the leaves of the
Erthroxylum Coca plant. In its pure form,
Cocaine is a white crystalline powder and it
is either sniffed in powder form or injected
into the body in liquid form.
Cocaine is both a central nervous system
stimulant and anaesthetic. The chronic
Cocaine abuser is socially dangerous
because of the mental abnormalities caused
by the drug.
Whats This? Effects & Dangers
Withdrawal Symptoms
Anxiety, depression, anger and
jittery feelings
Fatigue (extreme tiredness)
Nausea and vomiting
Loss of desire to do things
Increased heart rate
Aggressive behaviour
Irritability
Nausea, shaking, blurred
vision and hallucination
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Part 1 General Information on Drugs & Legislations
'Ecstasy'
The PENALTIES
Possession or
consumption of
'Ecstasy'
Up to 10 years
of imprisonment
or S$20,000 fine
or BOTH
Illegal traffic of
'Ecstasy'
Up to 20 years
of imprisonment
and 15 strokes
of the cane
Illegal import or
export of 'Ecstasy'
Up to 30 years of
imprisonment or
imprisonment for
life and 15 strokes
of the cane
'Ecstasy' refers to tablets containing
Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA),
Methylenedioxyethylamphetamine (MDEA)
and Methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA).
These tablets come in different colours with
different logos stamped on them. They are
often sold in discos as well as night joints.
People take them to enable them to dance
all night and sometimes they die from
exhaustion and dehydration. The drug takes
the form of a tablet and abusers can just
swallow it.
Other controlled drugs such as Ketamine
and Methamphetamine, and chemicals such
as paracetamol and calcium carbonate are
often mixed with 'Ecstasy'. This may cause
bad reactions to the body.
Whats This?
Withdrawal Symptoms
Anxiety, depression and
uncontrollable fear
Insomnia (difficulty in sleeping)
Loss of control of senses and reality
Effects & Dangers
Increased heart rate
and blood pressure
Jaw clenching,
teeth grinding and
uncontrollable shaking
Kidney, liver and
brain damage
Long term memory loss
Chills, sweating and
vomiting
Inability to think, see
and co-ordinate properly
Hallucination
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Part 1 General Information on Drugs & Legislations
Also known as: E / Adam / XTC / Pink Lady / Pink / Snow White
DEATH
Illegal traffic, import or export of
Heroin of more than 15 grams
The PENALTIES
Possession or consumption
of Heroin
Up to 10 years of
imprisonment or
S$20,000 fine or BOTH
Heroin
Also known as: White / Smack / Junk / Powder /
Putih / Medicine / Ubat
Whats This? Effects & Dangers
Heroin is a powerful and very addictive
drug that comes in granular, powder
or solution form while Heroin No. 3 (which
is more common in Singapore than heroin
No. 4) is more yellowish.
Heroin abusers feel dull and tired very
easily. They cannot work properly as they
are not able to concentrate.
"Chasing the Dragon", a common method of
abuse used by heroin abusers here, involves
heating the heroin powder and sniffing the
fumes through a rolled paper.
Withdrawal Symptoms
Insomnia (difficulty in sleeping)
Watery eyes and runny nose
Irritable and jittery feelings
Tremors and bodily cramps
Chills and sweating
Diarrhoea and vomiting
Lowered heart rate and
respiration
Damage to lungs,
kidneys and liver
Dull feeling and
tiredness
Difficulty in
concentrating
Constipation
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Part 1 General Information on Drugs & Legislations
Ketamine
Also known as: K / Special K / Vitamin K / Kit Kat
Inability to move
Distorted judgement,
perception, hearing,
sight, touch, smell
and taste
Confusion and
hallucination
Nose problems (bleeding
nose, cannot smell
properly)
Gastric pain
Urinary and bladder
problems (difficulty in
urinating, urinary tract
infection)
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Ketamine is an anaesthetic for veterinary
as well as human use. The drug takes the
form of white crystalline powder, liquid or
a tablet. Abusers usually take it as a powder
snorted up their noses. As a drug of abuse in
Hong Kong, the United States and Australia,
Ketamine has become common at dance
parties or 'raves'.
Ketamine produces a progression of effects
on the abuser, from a state of dreamy
intoxication to delirium accompanied by the
inability to move, feel pain or remember what
has occurred under the drug's influence. The
effects of Ketamine last an hour or less but
the drug can affect the senses, judgement
and co-ordination for 18 to 24 hours.
Whats This? Effects & Dangers
Withdrawal Symptoms
Depression, anger and irritability
Fatigue (extreme tiredness)
Insomnia (difficulty in sleeping)
The PENALTIES
Possession or
consumption of
Ketamine
Up to 10 years
of imprisonment
or S$20,000 fine
or BOTH
Illegal traffic of
Ketamine
Up to 20 years
of imprisonment
and 15 strokes
of the cane
Illegal import or
export of Ketamine
Up to 30 years of
imprisonment or
imprisonment for
life and 15 strokes
of the cane
at
ts & Dangers ts & Dange
Part 1 General Information on Drugs & Legislations
Lysergide (LSD)
Also known as: Acid / Trips / Blotters / Tabs / Stamp /
Black Sesame / Seed / Micro / Micro Dot
Lysergide (LSD) is a hallucinogen. It is often
sold on a blotting paper, which is usually
imprinted with a colourful cartoon or
design. Although abusers generally take it
orally, the tabs of blotting paper are also
placed on skin areas that readily absorb
the drug into the bloodstream, for example,
under the eyelid. When ingested, LSD takes
effect within 30 minutes.
Its effects are strongest after 3 to 5 hours
and can last up to 12 hours. Bad 'trips'
can trigger severe panics, paranoia and
confusion. After a 'trip', the abuser may feel
depressed.
Whats This? Effects & Dangers
Increased heart rate,
breathing and body
temperature
Numbness
Distorted sight, hearing,
smell, touch and taste
Loss of control
of thoughts
Severe panic,
paranoia, confusion
and hallucination
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The PENALTIES
Possession or
consumption of
LSD
Up to 10 years
of imprisonment
or S$20,000 fine
or BOTH
Illegal traffic of
LSD
Up to 20 years
of imprisonment
and 15 strokes
of the cane
Illegal import or
export of LSD
Up to 30 years of
imprisonment or
imprisonment for
life and 15 strokes
of the cane
p /
Dot
Part 1 General Information on Drugs & Legislations
Methamphetamine
Also known as: 'Ice' / Glass / Crystal / Speed / 'Ya ba'
Increased heart rate
and body temperature
Fits, stroke and death
Damage to heart
and nerves
Liver and kidney
diseases
Abnormal behaviours
with mood swings,
confusion, delusion
and hallucination
Anxiety and irritability
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Methamphetamine usually comes
in the crystallised form known as
Methamphetamine Hydrochloride. It is more
commonly known as 'Ice' in Singapore. It is
a strong stimulant, which is odourless and
colourless. It is usually smoked using a pipe-
like contraption.
Methamphetamine also comes in the tablet
form known as 'Ya ba'. The stimulant powder
in 'Ya ba' is produced from the ephedrine
plant. Most of the 'Ya ba' tablets found are
embossed with the 'WY' logo and are green
or orange in colour.
Methamphetamine has a very strong effect
on the central nervous system and is highly
addictive. The abuser feels anxious and
restless which can lead to violent behaviours.
Whats This? Effects & Dangers
Withdrawal Symptoms
Extreme tiredness and hunger
Anxiety, depression and irritability
Insomnia (difficulty in sleeping)
DEATH
Illegal traffic, import or export of
Methamphetamine of more than 250 grams
The PENALTIES
Possession or consumption
of Methamphetamine
Up to 10 years of
imprisonment or
S$20,000 fine or BOTH
Part 1 General Information on Drugs & Legislations
ba'
ormation on Drugs & Legislations
Nimetazepam
Also known as: 'Erimin-5'
The PENALTIES
Possession or
consumption of
Nimetazepam
Up to 10 years
of imprisonment
or S$20,000 fine
or BOTH
Illegal traffic of
Nimetazepam
Up to 10 years
of imprisonment
and 5 strokes
of the cane
Illegal import or
export of
Nimetazepam
Up to 20 years
of imprisonment
and 15 strokes
of the cane
'Erimin-5' is a type of depressant taken orally
by the user in the tablet form. Depressants
are drugs which help a person to calm down
and sleep. However, excessive use will lead
to harmful effects.
Whats This? Effects & Dangers
Loss of consciousness
Distorted judgement,
sight and thinking
Difficulty in
speaking, moving
and co-ordinating
bodily functions
Poor memory and
concentration
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Withdrawal Symptoms
Anxiety and jittery feelings
Insomnia (difficulty in sleeping)
Nausea, vomiting, quickened heart beat,
excessive sweating, violent shaking and
stomach cramps
Mental confusion
Fits
Part 1 General Information on Drugs & Legislations
Inhalants
Also known as: Stim Gum / Glue-Sniffing / Solvent Abuse /
Solvent Inhalation / Solvent Sniffing
Some substances, such as glue and paint
thinner, give off vapours and fumes. The
sniffing of vapours or fumes is known as
inhalant abuse.
Inhalant abuse affects the growth and
development of muscles, nerves and organs.
Contact cement is the most widely abused
inhalant. It is a common product used for
repairing shoes or furniture and is easily
available in stationery stores, provision
shops and supermarkets. It comes in several
brands and various packaging and could
cost between $1 and $1.50.
Whats This?
buse / /
Part 1 General Information on Drugs & Legislations
Other products that can be abused include:
- paint thinners
- petrol
- butane gas
- lighter fuels
- sealants
- hair lacquer
- nail polish remover
- dyes
- metal polish
- hair sprays
- deodorants
- other forms of adhesives which
contain intoxicants
- muscle spray (or Ethyl-chloride spray)
These products are manufactured not for the
purpose of intoxication and abuse. Unlike
drugs they are difficult to be controlled
because they are commercial products that
serve a useful and indispensable function in
our everyday lives and are easily available.
People who deliberately inhale these
substances to get 'high' are referred to as
inhalant abusers.
If you are an inhalant abuser, normal
activities like running and shouting can
cause death by heart failure. An inhalant
abuser may die from suffocation anytime.
This is known as Sudden Sniffing Death.
It can happen on the very first time or any
other time the abuser sniffs glue.
Methods
Four common methods of abuse :
Sniffing
Rags or handkerchiefs are soaked with
the substance and they are brought to
the nose and sniffed.
lnhaling from a plastic bag
The substance is poured into the plastic
bag which is placed over the nose and
mouth of the abuser. The abuser will
inhale the vapours through the nose
and mouth with deep breaths until he
gets 'high'.
Inhaling through bottles
The substance is poured into an empty
bottle and the vapours inhaled through
the mouth.
Inhaling from a container
Paint thinner or glue is placed in a
container. The abuser will inhale the
vapours through his nose and mouth
with deep breaths.
Part 1 General Information on Drugs & Legislations
Almost all commonly abused products
contain volatile hydrocarbons produced
from petroleum and natural gas - 'volatile'
meaning that they evaporate easily when
exposed to air. Volatile hydrocarbons
have many industrial, commercial and
household uses. Some examples of products
containing volatile hydrocarbons are
fuels, glue, cleaning fluids, lighter fluids,
paints and paint thinners. Certain volatile
hydrocarbons have been used as pressurized
propellants in aerosols. Two or more volatile
hydrocarbon compounds are frequently
found in the same product.
Methods and Effects of
Inhalant Abuse
The table below shows the most commonly abused products and their harmful
chemical constituents.
Glue and rubber patching adhesive
Paint and paint / lacquer thinner
Petrol
Lighter fluid
Cleaning fluid
(spot remover or shoe polish)
Nail polish remover
Toluene, hexane, benzene,acetone
Toluene, xylene aliphatic acetates
Toluene, berizenen, naphtha
Naphtha
Perchloroethylen1e, 1, 1, 1 -
trichloroethane, trichloroethylene,
naphtha
Acetone, aliphatic acetates
Products Chemicals
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Inhalants
The PENALTIES
Abuse of intoxicating
substances
Admission to an approved centre
for treatment and rehabilitation
for up to 6 months
OR
Up to 6 months imprisonment or
S$2,000 fine or BOTH
Selling or offering to sell
an intoxicating substance
when it is suspected that
the substance is for the
purpose of intoxication
Up to 2 years of
imprisonment or S$5,000
fine or BOTH
Part 1 General Information on Drugs & Legislations Inhalants
lmmediate Effects
Euphoric and
pleasurable feeling
Excitement
A false sense of
greatly increased
power and ability
Confusion
Disorientation
Aggressive behaviour
Inflammed / watery eyes
Running nose
Nausea and vomitting
Drowsiness
Dizziness
Lack of co-ordination
Toxic Effects
Death can result
from asphyxiation,
suffocation, heart
failure, accidents and
falls due to altered
mental state (altered
perception of time
and space)
Effects & Dangers
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Withdrawal Symptoms
Anxiety, depression and irritability
Aggressive behaviour
Dizziness, shaking and nausea
Insomnia (difficulty in sleeping)
Delayed Effects
Headache
Dizziness
Appetite and weight loss
Loss of memory
Inability to think
Cough
Easy bruising and / or
easy bleeding
Abdominal pain
Urinary pain
Muscle cramp
Numbness in limbs
Damage to central
nervous system
Damage to kidneys,
liver and brain
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Part 1 General Information on Drugs & Legislations
Legislations
The Intoxicating Substances Act is a
legislation enacted to deal with the inhalant
abuse problem. The Act makes inhalant
abuse an offence punishable with a fine
not exceeding $2,000 or imprisonment not
exceeding 6 months or to both.
The Act also deals with shopkeepers who
are suspected to be supplying intoxicating
substances to abusers. It makes the selling
or offering to sell an intoxicating substance,
when it is suspected that the substance is
for the purpose of intoxication, an offence
under the law. This offence is punishable by
a fine not exceeding $5000 or imprisonment
for a term not exceeding 2 years or both.
The Misuse of Drugs Act, or MDA for short,
is the main anti-drug law in Singapore
and targets both traffickers and abusers.
The penalty for drug trafficking includes
long jail terms of up to 30 years including
caning, as well as the death sentence
for trafficking certain types of drugs
beyond certain quantities. Under the
MDA, any person convicted of trafficking
more than a specified amount of opium,
morphine, heroin, cannabis, cocaine and
methamphetamine will receive the death
penalty.
The MDA also contains the presumption
clause, which provides that any person is
presumed to be trafficking in the drug in
his possession if it is more than a specified
quantity. This provision places the onus of
proof onto the accused person to convince
the court that the specified amount of drugs
he was arrested with was not for the purpose
of trafficking.
The Intoxicating Substances Act The Misuse of Drugs Act
The penalty for the offence of failure to provide
urine samples is the same as that for the offence of
drug consumption. If convicted, the accused person will face
Repeat offenders will face a minimum
mandatory penalty of 3 years imprisonment.
The penalty for the offence of failure to provide
urine samples is the same as that for the offence of
drug consumption. If convicted, the accused person will face
Repeat offenders will face a minimum
mandatory penalty of 3 years imprisonment.
Although the drug situation is under
control, there is still a serious problem of
some drug abusers not being able to kick
the habit after going through repeated Drug
Rehabilitation Centre (DRC) treatment. It has
also been established that such unrepentant
abusers are likely to be involved in criminal
activities.
To deal with these unrepentant drug
addicts, the Government is subjecting them
to long term imprisonment instead of DRC
treatment.
Hardcore addicts of Heroin, Morphine,
Opium, Methamphetamine, 'Ecstasy',
Ketamine, Nimetazepam, Buprenorphine,
Cocaine and Cannabis.
Hardcore drug addicts shall be subjected to
these penalties:
Long Term Imprisonment 1 (LT1)
Between 5 and 7 years of imprisonment, and
3 to 6 strokes of the cane
Long Term Imprisonment 2 (LT2)
Between 7 and 13 years of imprisonment,
and 6 to 12 strokes of the cane
Those who have been through LT1 once will
serve LT2 for subsequent offence of the
consumption of the above drugs or failure
to provide urine sample upon request.
Long Term Imprisonment Who are the ones Affected?
Objectives of Long Term
Imprisonment
To provide greater security and safety to
the rest of the society
To deter individuals from continuing to
abuse drugs
To reduce the crimes committed by
drug addicts
Part 1 General Information on Drugs & Legislations Legislations
Possible Factors that Contribute
to Drug and Inhalant Abuse
Some of the common factors contributing to drug and inhalant abuse are:
1 Peer Group In uence
There is a strong need for friendship and group identification among adolescents. Peers
who exert negative influence may give rise to anti-social behaviour Iike drug and
inhalant abuse.
2 Curiosity
The curious tendency of young people especially when they are in groups often increases
their desire to experience new sensations.
3 Lack of Parental Guidance
With the trend towards nuclear families and having both parents working, there may be
little or no parental supervision at home. Hence they become susceptible to negative
influences.
4 Boredom
Many of these young people do not have meaningful activities to occupy themselves
with. Boredom and idleness may lead to drug and inhalant abuse.
5 Individual Factor
Some children may have unhappy experiences at home or in school. For example, conflicts
with parents, parental discord, poor school performance and poor relationship with
schoolmates or teachers. All these may cause them to suffer from feelings of frustration,
anxiety, depression, hopelessness or worthlessness. As a result of the individual's
inability to cope with these feelings, he / she may turn to drug and inhalant abuse as a
means of escaping from the problem.
6 Availability of Substances (for Inhalant Abuse)
Various substances which are abused are found in products that are easily available in
the home or in shops at very low cost. Most of these products are conveniently packaged
so that they can be carried about concealed.
7 'Quick High' Effect (for Inhalant Abuse)
lnhalation of intoxicating substances produces a 'quick high' effect as compared with
other forms of drug abuse.
Part 2 Helping Students Stay Drug-Free
Part 2 Helping Students Stay Drug-Free
Behavioural Signs
A sudden change in the childs circle of friends
A change in school grades or behaviour
Evasive behaviour and / or lying
Sudden and extreme mood swings ranging from euphoric to depressed. The child may
switch from withdrawn and passive one minute to angry the next
Overreacting to mild criticism or simple requests
An ability to manipulate instead of taking responsibility for their actions and behaviours.
The child makes excuses for personal failures Its always someone elses fault
A noticeable lack of self-discipline
Anxiety: Anxiety can be characterised by chronic jerky or jittery movements, extreme fear
and obsessive-compulsive behaviour
Monetary extremes: Possession of excessive amounts of money and constant complaints of
insufficient funds
Changes in sleeping patterns
Hostile or argumentative attitude
Sudden loss of interest in family activities
Irregular hours or wanting to pursue activities at unusual times
Disappearances for long periods of time
Warning Signs of a
Potential Drug Problem
If you notice unexplained changes in physical appearance or behaviour,
it may be a sign of substance use.
Behavioural Signs
sudden chan
Sig
When in doubt, seek help from a doctor to examine the child to rule out illnesses or other
physical problems. You can approach Singapore Anti-Narcotics Association (SANA) and
National Addictions Management Service (NAMS) for help. You can also report cases of drug
abuse to Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB).
Singapore Anti-Narcotics Association (SANA)
Tel: 1800-733-4444
National Addictions Management Service (NAMS)
Tel: 6723-6837 (6-RECOVER)
Adapted from Signs and Symptoms of Drug Abuse,
an article from Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) website at http://www.dare.com.
Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB)
Tel: 1800-325-6666
Physical Signs
Poor physical appearance
Abnormally pale complexion
Getting sick more frequently
Sudden or dramatic weight loss or gain
Chronic fatigue, lack of energy and vitality
Loss of appetite and excessive thirst
Short-term memory loss and runny nose when allergies are not a problem
Problems with eyes: Bloodshot eyes, dilated pupils, droopy eyelids, imprecise eye
movements, wearing dark glasses at inappropriate times
Problems with coordination: Dizzy spells, stumbling, shaky
Dramatic appetite changes ranging from a sudden lack of appetite to a sudden craving
Changes in speech and vocabulary patterns: Rapid speech, slowed speech, slurred words
Environmental Indicators
Incense or air fresheners used to mask drug smells
Unusual smells on clothing or breath
Unusual containers or wrappers
Prescription medicine missing
Money missing
Valuables missing
Running away
Secretive phone calls
Physical Signs
Environmental Indicators
i f
Warning Signs of a Potential Drug Problem Part 2 Helping Students Stay Drug-Free
How You Can Prevent Children
from Abusing Drugs and Inhalants
Adapted from 'Defeating drugs. A parent's guide to preventing drug abuse'
produced by the National Council Against Drug Abuse (NCADA)
Communication with the children is the key to prevention.
Help them feel good about themselves
Children often take drugs to get 'high' and feel good about themselves. They experience
a sense of well-being and confidence but unfortunately, this is temporary and often leads
to long-term abuse or death.
You can try to increase the children's self-esteem by:
- Offer praise and encouragement.
- Show affection.
- Be there for them. Engage them in conversations regularly to understand the stresses
that they face in their daily life.
- Give the child responsibility to make him / her feel valued.
Teach the children the facts about drugs and inhalants
- Know the facts. Support your views with current information. Talk calmly and openly
without exaggeration (as the facts are frightening enough by themselves).
- Discuss with the children about the dangers that drug or inhalant abuse can cause to
their health.
- Use good "teachable" moments to talk to the children about drugs. For example, discussing
the issue of drugs when coming across such topics in media. You may also wish to utilise
some of the articles of interest in Part 6 to spark discussion.
- Use terms that a child would understand, for example, "Drugs can make you dizzy," or
"Drugs will make you sick and can make you look unattractive." etc.
- With older children, share your ideas, feelings and values. Older children tend to speak
their minds. They are more likely to challenge traditional belief and authority. They
want to reason and react. Explain your views about drugs, but do so without lecturing.
Teach the child how to say no to drugs, for example, to say "No, thanks" when offered
drugs. You may wish to use some of the tips under the topic 'Top Ten Refusal Skills for
Teens' in the following pages.
Help them address peer pressure and emphasise that drug or inhalant abuse is not the
right way to fit in.
Suggest healthy group activities and sports that they can join to widen their circle of
friends and boost their self-esteem.
Observe their activities. Any sudden change in friends, behaviour or interests could be an
indicator that they may be facing problems.
Part 2 Helping Students Stay Drug-Free
Part 2 Helping Students Stay Drug-Free
Top Ten Refusal Skills for Teens
Adapted from "Teaching Kids to Respond Assertively to Peer Pressure"
by Susan Carney, www.suite101.com, 26 Aug 2007
Many teens wind up going along with abuse drugs or inhalants not because they want to,
but simply because they dont know how to respond in these situations. They are afraid of
losing a friend, looking uncool, or being left out of the crowd. The trick is to get them to
practice saying no in a variety of ways and in a variety of situations, so they are prepared
for anything.
Here are some ways teens can respond to peer pressure. By learning a range of possible
responses, children are more likely to be able to come up with one that fits the situation when
the time arises.
Role play some typical situations with teens, and have them practice using each one. You will
help kids develop assertiveness skills as well as confidence.
1 Make a joke.
Sometimes humor is the best way to respond to a situation, as it can lighten
a serious mood. It can also divert attention away from you and onto something else.
2 Make an excuse why you cant.
Have ready-made reasons to say NO. Keep your reasons simple and honest. Maybe you
have something else to do that will interfere. Or you have to be somewhere at a specific
time. Or your mom will kill you. Say it and stick to it.
Thats illegal. I dont want to get into trouble.
Sorry. I dont want to end up in jail.
3 Be bold and say NO.
No way! Taking drugs is stupid.
Youre kidding, right? Why would I want to do something so dumb?
No, thanks. Why would I want to mess up my life?
4 Thanks, but no thanks.
In some situations, just saying no without a lot of arguing and explaining is the best
response. Just make sure your no is a strong and determined one. You can be polite,
but you still arent interested. It just isnt something youre into.
No, thanks. I don't use drugs.
Sorry. Sniffing glue is not for me.
No, thanks. I am cool the way I am.
5 Suggest an alternative activity.
Lots of kids wind up doing stuff they shouldnt because they lack other options.
Theyre bored. By thinking of something better to do, youre offering everyone an out.
You just might be surprised who might take you up on it.
No, I prefer dancing (or other hobbies). Why don't we check out this new
dancing school..."
6 Ignore the suggestion / change the subject.
Pretend you didnt hear it, and change the topic to something else. Act like you dont
think the idea was even worth discussing.
7 You may need to repeat your position.
Sometimes it takes more than once, on more than one occasion. Just because someone
asks more than once, that doesnt mean you have to cave. Be firm and keep repeating
your answer.
8 Leave the situation.
If it is friendly teasing, you can say something funny to get out of the situation. If you
dont like where things are headed, you can take off. It might seem risky, but with you
leading the way, other kids who really dont want to do it either just may follow you.
I have to go now. I have an appointment.
9 Avoid situations where you know people
will be abusing drugs or snif ng glue.
Choose your friends wisely. Hang out with friends who dont use drugs.
10 The power of numbers.
Make a pact with your friends to stick to your guns. Often, knowing that your friends
will back you up can help you feel more comfortable being assertive. Sometimes we
feels stronger than I.
Part 2 Helping Students Stay Drug-Free Top Ten Refusal Skills for Teens
Part 3 Contacts & Helplines
Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB)
Tel: 1800-325-6666
24 hours daily
Website: http://www.cnb.gov.sg
Who is it for?
Those who wish to report cases of drug abuse.
Singapore Anti-Narcotics Association (SANA)
Tel: 1800-733-4444
7:30am midnight
Website: http://www.sana.org.sg
Who is it for?
Drug abusers, their families and the general public. SANA has a SMART (Inhalant Abuse)
Programme which is developed for inhalant abuse cases. However, it is meant to be run for
a group of at least 10 participants over 12 sessions and cost about $1200 per participant.
Parental involvement is a requirement. Schools may contact Ms Cynthia Chng at 6732 1122
ext 85 for more details.
SOS (Samaritans of Singapore)
Tel: 1800-221-4444
24 hours daily
Website: http://www.samaritians.org.sg
Who is it for?
Anybody in crisis and is suicidal.
WE CARE Centre
Tel: 6471-5346
Mon Fri, 8:30am 9:00pm
Sat, 10:00am 8:00pm
Website: http://www.wecare.org.sg
Who is it for?
For individuals and families who need help with addictions.
Helplines General
CCe C
SO
S
WW
Te
Information correct as of June 2010
National Addictions Management Service (NAMS)
Tel: 6723-6837 (6-RECOVER)
Mon Fri, 8:30am 6:00pm
Website: http://www.nams.org.sg
Who is it for?
For anyone who wishes to seek help with their addictions. NAMS has an outpatient
substance abuse treatment programme for adolescents (<18 yrs old). Schools can contact
NAMS at 63892200 to make an appointment for each individual student. NAMS can also
conduct training for educators as well as general talks on substance abuse for schools.
Schools can contact Mr Suresh at 63892380 for further details. For more info, pls refer to
http://www.nams.org.sg/page.aspx/22/our-services/for-patients/outpatient/adolescent.
NAMS Programmes:
NAMS Adolescent Outpatient Programme
Consists of psychiatric consultations provided by NAMS addiction trained psychiatrists and
individual / family counselling provided by NAMS addiction counsellors.
For individual counselling, NAMS covers a spectrum of topics pertaining to relapse
prevention including:
Understanding substance abuse
Understanding inhalant abuse
Exploring relapse prevention strategies
Building risk and protective factors
Exploring circle of support
Anger management
Reintegrating into the community and its challenges
Review on relapse prevention
Preparation for termination
The above topics are formatted into a workbook that can help to guide the counselling
process. Counselling is NOT restricted to the above topics; the counsellor is free to explore
other problems to cater to the needs of the youth. Counsellors also engage the parents and /
or significant others to support the patient in treatment and rehabilitation. At least one
session with the parents or guardian(s) will be conducted within the first month of the patient
entering into treatment.
Adolescent Coaching and Enrichment Programme (ACE) and
Parents' of Adolescent Coaching and Enrichment Programme (PACE)
Outpatient group psychoeducation and lifeskills programmes for both the adolescents and
their parents. Separate groups would be conducted for both male and female adolescents. It is
a 3 days programme from 10am to 3pm conducted every June and December holidays. Group
size is up to 12 13 participants. PACE is a 1-day programme conducted on the 3rd day of
ACE. Whilst ACE is facilitated by the adolescent team, PACE is facilitated by the family team.
Topics that are covered in ACE:
Substance abuse and alcohol use
Managing Triggers and Cravings
Skills component: Communication, assertiveness and decision making skills
Part 3 Contacts & Helplines
N
General
Information correct as of June 2010
6732-6837
Notes:
1) Required information to be captured in
referral letters from agencies:
Patients details
i. Name
ii. NRIC
iii. DOB
iv. Address
v. Contact number
vi. Next-of-kins details
(name, contact no.)
vii. Reason for referral
viii. Counsellor's observation
ix. Recommendation
Appointment Line: 6389 2200
Addictions Helpline: 6732 6837
Operation hours:
Monday to Thursday 8am to 5.30pm*
Friday 8am to 5pm*
Last registration by appointment
at 11.30am and 4.45pm
*excluding PH
Self-referral
Appointment will be made within
2 weeks, if available,
from date of phone call
Referral from government
agencies, VWO, other hospitals,
polyclinics, etc
Appointment Line: 6389 2200 / Fax: 6315 4837
Addictions Helpline: 6732 6837
Operation hours:
Monday to Thursday 8am to 5.30pm*
Friday 8am to 5pm*
Last registration by appointment
at 11.30am and 4.45pm
*excluding PH
Appointment will be made within
1 weeks, if available,
from date of phone call
Counsellor in-charge
i. Counsellor's Name
ii. Contact No.
iii. Fax No. (to facilitate official reply on
the confirmation of appointment details)
iv. Agencys Address
2) Referral letter containing the above details
can be faxed to 6315 4837.
Attention to: NAMS PSA for
Appointment Booking
3) Every patient is strongly encouraged to keep
to the scheduled appointment. If the
appointment is missed, the patients
rescheduled appointment may be delayed.
Skills component: Stress and anger management skills
For girls, we would also include understanding relationship between substance abuse and
sexuality, relationship between substance abuse and body image
Topics that are covered in PACE:
Understanding substance abuse and effects on their child
Helping their child to prevent relapses through family bonding strategies
In summary, ACE serves as a safe environment for the adolescents to practise what they have
already learnt in the individual counselling.
Referral to National Addictions Management Service (NAMS)
General Part 3 Contacts & Helplines
Information correct as of June 2010
Helplines Youths and Kids
Audible Hearts (Health Promotion Board)
Website: http://www.audiblehearts.sg
Who is it for?
An online service run by the Health Promotion Board. Troubled youths who are too shy to
talk over the phone can pour out their woes via e-mail to trained youth volunteers.
Good Company (Alliance of six social service agencies)
Tel: 8111-3535 (Toll-free)
24 hours
Who is it for?
A one-stop case management service for all issues that students may face, including drug
and substance abuse issues.
Student Advisory Centre
Tel: 6777-0041
Mon Fri, 9:00am 6:30pm
Website: http://www.studentadvisory.org.sg
Who is it for?
For runaway youths or 'their' parents.
AA
Go GG
St S
org
Part 3 Contacts & Helplines
Information correct as of June 2010
Helplines Parents
Association of Women for Action & Research (AWARE) Helpline
Tel: 1800-774-5935
Mon Fri, 3:00pm 9:30pm
Website: http://www.aware.org.sg
Who is it for?
Women's issues, family violence and parenting concerns.
Care Corner 800 Hotline
(Care Corner Mandarin Counselling Centre)
Tel: 1800-353-5800
Mon Sun, 10:00am 10:00pm (except public holidays)
Website: http://www.carecorner.org.sg
Who is it for?
For Mandarin-speaking community with family, marital and personal problems.
ComCare
Tel: 1800-222-0000
24 hours
Website: http://www.mcys.gov.sg
Who is it for?
For families & individuals in need of family support services.
Parentline (Covenant Family Service Centre)
Tel: 6289-8811
Mon Fri, 9:00am 5:00pm
Website: http://www.plmc.org
Who is it for?
For parents with child development and management difficulties or require
marital counselling.
ng concerns
selling Cen
lidays)
sg
nd personal problems
ARE) Helpline
s.
nnnnnntttttttttrrrrrrrrree))))
Part 3 Contacts & Helplines
Information correct as of June 2010
Chinese Development Assistance Council (CDAC)
Tel: 6803-5588
Mon, 8:30am 6:00pm
Fri, 8:30am 5:30pm
Sat, 8:30am 1:00pm
Website: http://www.cdac.org.sg
Singapore Indian Development Association (SINDA)
Tel: 1800-295-4554
Mon Fri, 8:30am 6:00pm
Sat, 8:30am 1:00pm
Website: http://www.sinda.org.sg
Yayasan MENDAKI
Tel: 6245-5710
Mon Fri, 8:30am 6:00pm
Sat, 8:30am 1:00pm
Website: http://www.mendaki.org.sg
Helplines Self-help Groups
Part 3 Contacts & Helplines
Information correct as of June 2010
Part 4 Preventive Drug Education in Schools
Preventive Drug Education
in Schools
Drug / inhalant abuse is a multi-faceted issue. With the support from Ministry Of Education
(MOE), Preventive Drug Education (PDE) has been incorporated into Health Education which is
offered to all pupils at the primary levels. At the upper primary level of the Health Education
and in the lower secondary Science syllabi, substance (such as alcohol, cigarettes and inhalant)
abuse is included to equip pupils with the knowledge and skills to say 'no' to peer pressure
and temptations to smoke, take alcohol or experiment with drugs. The dangers of substance
use such as the effects of smoking (e.g. lung and heart disease), drinking alcohol (e.g. liver
failure, motor vehicle accidents) and taking drugs (e.g. brain damage, addiction leading to
death) are highlighted. Pupils are also reminded to seek the counsel of adults when they feel
uncertain about issues related to substance abuse.
CNB works in close collaboration with the relevant agencies, such as the MOE, Ministry of
Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS), Singapore Police Force (SPF), Health
Promotion Board (HPB), relevant Voluntary Welfare Organisations (VWOs), as well as the
community to address the problem of drug / inhalant abuse among the students. MOE has
supported CNB in its efforts to step up its preventive drug education at schools to reach
out to the general student population. Schools collaborate with the CNB and other related
organisations to carry out assembly talks, exhibitions, display of posters etc. Students are
alerted to the dangers of drug or inhalant abuse and are advised on how they can avoid
falling into such harmful behaviours.
Recognising that educators and counsellors play an important role in imparting correct moral
values and preventing drug abuse in youths, CNB have held seminars and dialogue sessions
with teachers and counsellors. CNB also shares and discusses issues related to drug and
inhalant abuse among youths and possible intervention strategies at such forums. Plenary
and workshop sessions led by professionals involved in anti-drug work and counselling,
volunteers and counsellors with experience dealing with youths were included in such
seminars to facilitate sharing of ideas and best practices.
Through the Co-ordinating Committee on Preventive Drug Education (COC), CNB has enlisted
the support of MOE, SPF, Institute of Technical Education (ITE) and various community
partners such as Chinese Development Assistance Council (CDAC), Mendaki, Association of
Muslim Professionals (AMP), Singapore Indian Development Association (SINDA) to expand
our PDE outreach to youths from different backgrounds. In developing our programmes
and activities, we bear in mind the interests of our target audience to better reach out to
them. Besides talks and exhibitions, we organise a wide range of PDE activities and events
throughout the year to engage the youths, parents and teachers. Through these activities, we
hope to cultivate lifeskills and promote healthy lifestyle among participants, so that they will
stay clear from drug activities.
Part 4 Preventive Drug Education in Schools
PREVENTIVE DRUG
EDUCATION PROGRAMMES
1st Quarter
1st Quarter
1st to 2nd Quarter
2nd Quarter
June to July
4th Quarter
All year
Event Period
**
Activity / Event
Anti-Drug Essay Writing Competition
DanceWorks!
Anti-Drug Ambassador Activity
(for Primary Schools)
International Day Against Drug Abuse
and Illicit Trafficking
Anti-Drug Art Competition
Talks and Exhibitions
Note:
1) Dates are subjected to change. Information and registration forms will only be available
1 to 2 months prior to the respective activity or event dates.
2) The list is non-exhaustive. Updates and details of our events and activities can be found
at CNBs events page: www.cnb.gov.sg/events, anti-drug portal: www.cnb.gov.sg/cnbpde or
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/lifedoesnotrewind.
3) For customized activities and workshops, please contact us at
cnb_preventive_education_unit@cnb.gov.sg
^
^
^
^
^
^
In line with the CNB-Schools Case Reporting and Management Framework, schools are
encouraged to report suspected student drug or inhalant offenders, as well as students
caught in the act of abusing or possessing drug or inhalant substances in schools, to CNB.
This framework allows both CNB and schools to detect and tackle the problem early. CNB will
handle such cases discreetly.
Drug and inhalant abusers would most likely be known to the school through either one of
the following ways:

Abusers who confess to abusing drugs or inhalant to the teachers, counsellors,
pupils or parents
Abusers apprehended by the police or CNB
Abusers found in possession of drugs or inhalant products (for possession of inhalant
products, teachers will have to establish their use before they can ascertain if these are for
the purpose of abuse)
Abusers who are caught in the act
The typical profile of youth drug or inhalant abusers is as follows:
As at first half of 2010, a high proportion of inhalant abusers are youths under 20 (73%)
and male (74%). Among these youths, almost half of them are in the age group of 15 to
19 years. The average age is 14 (some can be as young as 8).
The number of youths, i.e. those below 20 years old, arrested for drug abuse in first half
2010 was low, accounting for about 5% of the total number of drug abusers arrested. The
typical youth drug abuser is a male, between 15 to 19 years of age, and is likely to have
abused methamphetamine. The age profile is different from previous years where a
youth abuser was between the ages of 18 to 19 years old.
A significant proportion of these abusers lack parental supervision and control. They
play truant from school frequently and skip many of their classes. They have poor
academic records and are aggressive and impulsive in behaviour.
Symptoms of drug or inhalant abuse could include the following:
A drug or inhalant abuser appears to have lost interest in his personal appearance and
food. He coughs and salivates increasingly, has unpleasant chemical breath and smell on
his clothes. He may have sores on the nose and mouth and may frequent places like
storerooms, toilets or isolated corners of the school. He walks with an unsteady gait and
has a slurred speech. (For inhalant abuser) Empty cans or tubes of intoxicating
substances may be found in his possession. Please refer to 'Warning Signs of a Potential
Drug Problem' at Part 2 for other signs and symptoms of an abuser.
Part 4 Preventive Drug Education in Schools
Part 4 Preventive Drug Education in Schools
Schools can contact CNBs hotline at 1800-325-6666 for advice and assistance in dealing with
such cases. Schools can also contact the nearest CNB Supervision Units (situated at the Police
Divisional Headquarters) at the following telephone numbers:
CNB Supervision Units
Supervision A (Central)
Supervision D (Clementi)
Senior Officer-in-Charge
Deputy Officer-in-Charge
General Office
Senior Officer-in-Charge
Deputy Officer-in-Charge
General Office
Senior Officer-in-Charge
Deputy Officer-in-Charge
General Office
Senior Officer-in-Charge
Deputy Officer-in-Charge
General Office
Senior Officer-in-Charge
Deputy Officer-in-Charge
General Office
Senior Officer-in-Charge
Deputy Officer-in-Charge
General Office
6557-3238
6557-3232
6557-3231
6872-8161
6872-8165
6779-4542
6295-8349
6299-0722
6295-8346
6482-9629
6482-4730
6483-6362
6243-6485
6244-4420
6448-1203
6267-8810
6267-8779
6861-3723
Supervision E (Tanglin)
Supervision F (Ang Mo Kio)
Supervision G (Bedok)
Supervision J (Jurong)
Telephone Numbers Designation
The CNB-Schools Case Reporting and Management Framework together with the sample
templates of the Pupils Apprehended for Inhalant Abuse Notification from Guidance Branch
and the Student Progress Report for CNB Inhalant Investigation are shown on the following
pages. For enquiries, please contact Guidance Branch, Education Programmes Division.
CNB-SCHOOLS CASE REPORTING AND
MANAGEMENT FRAMEWORK
Student is suspected
of drug / inhalant
abuse
Student is arrested
by CNB for drug /
inhalant abuse
outside school
Yes
NO
Student is caught in the
act of abusing / possessing
drugs or inhaling
substances in school
CNB decides on whether
to arrest the student
Principal contacts CNB
via Hotline 1800-3256666
Detains student pending
arrival of CNB officers
^
^
CNB commences investigation
CNB informs parents
CNB obtains parent's consent and arrange for
blood test
^
^
^
CNB updates school and Guidance Branch after
the completion of preliminary investigation
School reports in SOM
^
^
CNB informs school of outcomes
If student is placed on CNB Supervision Scheme,
- school reports on performance of student in
the 3rd & 6th month
- CNB provide school with progress report in
the 6th month.
^
^
CNB team arrives in
school and assesses
the case
CNB team obtains
particulars of student
and next-of-kin from
the student
^
^ Teacher informs
Principal and alerts
DM or HOD / PW
School to
- provide counseling
support
- work with parents
to monitor progress
of student
School to work with
MOE Guidance Officers
School to work with
other agencies,
if necessary.
^
^
^
^
Part 4 Preventive Drug Education in Schools
Part 4 Preventive Drug Education in Schools Pupils Apprehended for Inhalant Abuse Notification
Part 4 Preventive Drug Education in Schools Pupils Apprehended for Inhalant Abuse Notification
Part 4 Preventive Drug Education in Schools Pupils Apprehended for Inhalant Abuse Notification
Part 4 Preventive Drug Education in Schools Pupils Apprehended for Inhalant Abuse Notification
Part 4 Preventive Drug Education in Schools Student Progress Report
for CNB Inhalant Investigation
Part 4 Preventive Drug Education in Schools Student Progress Report
for CNB Inhalant Investigation
Part 4 Preventive Drug Education in Schools Student Progress Report
for CNB Inhalant Investigation
Part 4 Preventive Drug Education in Schools
The following section shows some lessons extracted from MOE, EPD Social Emotional
Learning (SEL) Lesson Pack for Secondary Schools (2009).
SEL Lessons (Secondary) Managing Addictions
Part 4 Preventive Drug Education in Schools SEL Lessons (Secondary) Managing Addictions
Part 4 Preventive Drug Education in Schools SEL Lessons (Secondary) Managing Addictions
1. Crossword Puzzle
Part 5 Classroom Activities
Individual Activity
Purpose:
To provide information about drugs and their effects.
Resources:
Make copies of the crossword puzzle below for each student. You can also customise your own
crossword puzzle online at www.readwritethink.org/files/resources/interactives/crossword/
Method:
Get the class to complete the crossword puzzle and run through the answers with them. Teachers
should follow up with questions or discussions on the harmful effects of the various drugs.
Across
1. Drug also known as 'White'
2. I feel like throwing up.
3. Also known as 'Vitamin K', but bad
for your health.
4. Time to go behind bars.
5. You can't cool your drink with this.
6. You would sleep better by staying
away from this.
7. Don't try this 'coke' even if you are thirsty.
8. Sticky and smelly. You may die
anytime trying it.
9. A dangerous dancing partner in the clubs.
10. Most people do this when they drink
too much.
Down
11. Seeing something that isn't there at all.
12. Also known as Subutex, a treatment
gone wrong.
13. Easily annoyed.
14. I always count sheeps when I get this.
15. Panic attack.
16. Clearly, of an unclear mind.
17. Why does everything seem so blue?
18. So tired that I couldn't take one more step.
19. Sometimes, this is how drug abuse ends.
20. The grass is definitely greener when you are
not on this.
Across
1. Drug also known as 'White'
2. I feel like throwing up.
3. Also known as 'Vitamin K', but bad
for your health.
4. Time to go behind bars.
5. You can't cool your drink with this.
6. You would sleep better by staying
away from this.
7. Don't try this 'coke' even if you are thirsty.
8. Sticky and smelly. You may die
anytime trying it.
9. A dangerous dancing partner in the clubs.
10. Most people do this when they drink
too much.
Down
11. Seeing something that isn't there at all.
12. Also known as Subutex, a treatment
gone wrong.
13. Easily annoyed.
14. I always count sheeps when I get this.
15. Panic attack.
16. Clearly, of an unclear mind.
17. Why does everything seem so blue?
18. So tired that I couldn't take one more step.
19. Sometimes, this is how drug abuse ends.
20. The grass is definitely greener when you are
not on this.
Part 5 Classroom Activities 1. Crossword Puzzle
2. Jumbled Words
Part 5 Classroom Activities
Individual Activity
1. neorprnbhueip = buprenorphine
Harmful Effects:
Sedation / light-headedness / dizziness / nausea / constipation and vomiting.
3. nceicao = cocaine
Harmful Effects:
Increased heart rate / aggressive behaviour / irritability / nausea, shaking,
blurred vision and hallucination.
2. nniscaab = cannabis
Harmful Effects:
Inability to concentrate / slow reaction / distorted thinking and perception /
poor balance and co-ordination / extreme anxiety, depression, confusion and paranoia
(irrational fear or suspicion) / decline in motivation and drive in long-term users.
4. scayets = ecstasy
Harmful Effects:
Increased heart rate and blood pressure / jaw clenching, teeth grinding and uncontrollable
shaking / kidney, liver and brain damage / long term memory loss / chills, sweating and
vomiting / inability to think, see and co-ordinate properly / hallucination.
=== cocaineeeeeeee
============ ecstasyyyyyyyyyyy
cannnnnaaaaaaabbbbbbbbiiiiisssssss
Purpose:
To provide information about drugs and their effects.
Resources:
Make copies of the activity sheet for each student.
Method:
Get the class to complete the worksheet and run through the answers with them, focusing on
the effects of the various drugs.
For activity sheet, pls get them to list down at least 2 corresponding harmful effects.
2. Jumbled Words Answers
7. gyilsrdee = lysergide
Harmful Effects:
Increased heart rate, breathing and body temperature / numbness /
distorted sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste / loss of control of thoughts /
severe panic, paranoia, confusion and hallucination.
====== llyyyyyyyysergggggggggggggggideeeeeeeeeeeeeee
9. mtiaemaznpe = nimetazepam
Harmful Effects:
Loss of consciousness / distorted judgement, sight and thinking / difficulty in speaking,
moving and co-ordinating bodily functions / poor memory and concentration.
8. haeihnpammmtete = methamphetamine
Harmful Effects:
Increased heart rate and body temperature / fits, stroke and death /
damage to heart and nerves / liver and kidney diseases / abnormal behaviours
with mood swings, confusion, delusion and hallucination / anxiety and irritability.
10. silhanant = inhalants
Harmful Effects:
Permanent damage to brain, liver and kidneys / prone to bleeding and bruises /
memory loss / difficulty in learning and seeing things clearly / loss of control of body /
cramps, pains and bad cough.
mmethaaaaammmpppppppppppppppppphetamine
================= nniiiiimetazeppppam
iiiinhalants
6. enemakit = ketamine
Harmful Effects:
Inability to move / distorted judgement, perception, hearing, sight, touch, smell and taste /
confusion and hallucination / Nose problems (bleeding nose, cannot smell properly) /
gastric pain / urinary and bladder problems (difficulty in urinating, urinary tract infection).
================= ketamiiiiiine
5. neihor = heroin
Harmful Effects:
Lowered heart rate and respiration / damage to lungs, kidneys and liver /
dull feeling and tiredness / difficulty in concentrating / constipation
========== heerrrrrrooooooooooiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn
Part 5 Classroom Activities
2. Jumbled Words
1. neorprnbhueip =
Harmful Effects:
2. nniscaab =
Harmful Effects:
3. nceicao =
Harmful Effects:
4. scayets =
Harmful Effects:
Can you unscramble the hidden drugs below and list down its corresponding harmful effects?
5. neihor =
Harmful Effects:
Part 5 Classroom Activities
2. Jumbled Words
7. gyilsrdee =
Harmful Effects:
9. mtiaemaznpe =
Harmful Effects:
6. enemakit =
Harmful Effects:
8. haeihnpammmtete =
Harmful Effects:
10. silhanant =
Harmful Effects:
Part 5 Classroom Activities
3. Flash Cards Class Activity
Purpose:
To test identification and knowledge about drugs and their effects.
Resources:
Please find your set of flash cards attached behind this sheet.
Method:
Get the class to compete in naming the drugs and/or their effects/withdrawal symptoms.
Part 5 Classroom Activities
3. Flash Cards Answers
Cocaine
Harmful Effects:
Increased heart rate / aggressive
behaviour / irritability / nausea,
shaking, blurred vision and
hallucination.
Ecstasy
Harmful Effects:
Increased heart rate and blood
pressure / jaw clenching,
teeth grinding and uncontrollable
shaking / kidney, liver and brain
damage / long term memory loss /
chills, sweating and vomiting /
inability to think, see and co-ordinate
properly / hallucination.
Heroin
Harmful Effects:
Lowered heart rate and respiration /
damage to lungs, kidneys and liver /
dull feeling and tiredness / difficulty
in concentrating / constipation
Part 5 Classroom Activities
3. Flash Cards Part 5 Classroom Activities
Lysergide
Harmful Effects:
Increased heart rate, breathing and
body temperature / numbness /
distorted sight, hearing, smell,
touch and taste / loss of control of
thoughts / severe panic, paranoia,
confusion and hallucination.
Methamphetamine
Harmful Effects:
Increased heart rate and body
temperature / fits, stroke and death /
damage to heart and nerves /
liver and kidney diseases /
abnormal behaviours with mood
swings, confusion, delusion and
hallucination /anxiety and irritability.
Ketamine
Harmful Effects:
Inability to move / distorted
judgement, perception, hearing, sight,
touch, smell and taste / confusion
and hallucination / Nose problems
(bleeding nose, cannot smell
properly) / gastric pain / urinary
and bladder problems (difficulty in
urinating, urinary tract infection).
3. Flash Cards Answers Part 5 Classroom Activities
3. Flash Cards Part 5 Classroom Activities
Nimetazepam
Harmful Effects:
Loss of consciousness / distorted
judgement, sight and thinking /
difficulty in speaking, moving and
co-ordinating bodily functions /
poor memory and concentration.
Inhalants
Harmful Effects:
Permanent damage to brain, liver
and kidneys / prone to bleeding and
bruises / memory loss / difficulty in
learning and seeing things clearly /
loss of control of body / cramps,
pains and bad cough.
3. Flash Cards Answers Part 5 Classroom Activities
3. Flash Cards Part 5 Classroom Activities
4. Essay Writing Individual Activity
Purpose:
To encourage internalisation of drugs abuse information and promotes good writing skills.
Resources:
- Make copies or copy the suggested essay themes/topics onto whiteboard for classroom use.
- Teachers can leverage on the topics provided in the annual essay writing competition
organised by CNB to conduct the session. Rules and regulations of the competition can be
found online at www.cnb.gov.sg in the 1st quarter of each year.
Primary Level
Method:
Students are to write one of the following essays with not more than 450 words.
Sample topics:
- An essay with the theme Drug Destroys
- An essay beginning with the following
- I/He/She did not realise that the day I/he/she started to abuse drugs, I/he/she would have
to bear with the terrible consequences
- Write an essay that includes all of the following words:
addiction
arrested
damage
health
family
regret
hurt
Secondary Level
Method:
Students are to write one of the following essays with not more than 1000 words.
Sample topics:
- An essay with the theme The Deadly Lure of Drug Abuse
- An essay beginning with one of the following phrases
a) And I thought heroin
b) I/He/She lost the
- Drug abuse is an illness. Discuss.
Part 5 Classroom Activities
5. Hangman Individual Activity
Method:
- Don't let drugs be the end of you! Guess the name of the unknown drug letter by letter.
Each wrong attempt adds a body part to the gallows (head, torso, left arm, and so on...)
until the body is complete, and it's game over!
- Split the class into teams and get them to compete in saving the most lives. You can also get
the teams to set questions for each other.
- Symptoms or harmful effects of the various drugs can be used as bonus questions or hints
for this activity.
Purpose:
To test drugs identification and spelling.
Resources:
Part 1: General information on Drugs
1. buprenorphine
2. cannabis
3. cocaine
4. ecstasy
5. heroin
6. ketamine
7. lysergide
8. methamphetamine
9. nimetazepam
10. inhalants
Attempt 1
(head)
Attempt 4
(right arm)
Attempt 6
(right leg)
Attempt 3
(left arm)
Attempt 5
(left leg)
Attempt 2
(torso)
Part 5 Classroom Activities
Purpose:
To sharpen pupils' spelling skills and response time, and to foster co-operation among class
members.
6. Drug Names
and Numbers Class Activity
Method:
The teacher will shout out a word that is related to drugs, e.g. 'ketamine'. The pupils will have
to determine how many letters the word has, and quickly form into random groups matching
that number. In this example, the pupils will have to join up into groups of eight. Anyone
left out of the completed groups will have to do a default by answering a question about that
particular word.
Resources:
Part 1: General information on Drugs
1. buprenorphine
2. cannabis
3. cocaine
4. ecstasy
5. heroin
6. ketamine
7. lysergide
8. methamphetamine
9. nimetazepam
10. inhalants
7. Class Poster Group Activity
Purpose:
To encourage internalisation of drugs abuse information via a hands-on approach, and to
promote good writing skills.
Resources:
Pupils are to source for the relevant resources on their own accord; eg. from the library,
newspapers and magazines, online, through interviews, etc.
Method:
The pupils are divided into small groups. Each group is required to conduct research on
a chosen drug, including its effects and the symptoms of addiction to the drug. They may
research for information through the media, on the internet and at the library. After they
complete their research, the pupils will be required to present their findings which may
include facts, figures and images on mini-posters of A4 size. All the mini-posters will finally
be assembled to form one large poster, which will educate everyone on the nature and
dangers of different kinds of drugs. This large poster should ideally be placed on the class
noticeboard or some other highly visible location within the school.
Part 5 Classroom Activities
8. Word Find Individual Activity
Purpose:
To sharpen pupils' spelling skills and response time.
Resources:
Make copies of the Word Find sheet for each student.
Method:
Get the class to complete the activity and run through the answers with them. Teachers
should follow up with questions or discussions on the harmful effects of the various drugs.
Drugs
1. buprenorphine
2. cannabis
3. cocaine
4. ecstasy
5. heroin
Symptoms & Penalties
6. ketamine
7. lysergide
8. methamphetamine
9. nimetazepam
10. inhalants
11. nausea
12. anxiety
13. depression
14. vomiting
15. irritable
16. insomnia
17. hallucination
18. fatigue
19. imprisonment
20. death
Part 5 Classroom Activities
Drugs
1. buprenorphine
2. cannabis
3. cocaine
4. ecstasy
5. heroin
Symptoms & Penalties
6. ketamine
7. lysergide
8. methamphetamine
9. nimetazepam
10. inhalants
11. nausea
12. anxiety
13. depression
14. vomiting
15. irritable
16. insomnia
17. hallucination
18. fatigue
19. imprisonment
20. death
Can you spot all the hidden words in the list? Look across, downwards and diagonally.
The fastest to complete wins this challenge!
8. Word Find Part 5 Classroom Activities
Purpose:
Saying No! from the very beginning is still the best way to stay off drugs. This activity
will provoke the pupils to find different ways to say no, which may be useful when they are
confronting different people and different situations where they may be invited to try drugs.
Resources:
This is a class activity meant to stimulate pupils' imagination and creativity. Teacher is to
encourage every pupil to join in and contribute their ideas.
Method:
Ask each individual pupil to take turns to come up with their own ways to say no whenever
drugs are being offered to them. This is also a good way to nurture their creative thinking
and problem-solving skills.
Purpose:
To encourage internalisation of drugs abuse information via a hands-on approach, and to
promote good writing skills.
Resources:
Pupils are to source for the relevant raw materials on their own accord and initiative.
Method:
Ask the pupils to collect whatever discarded materials, such as bottles, cans and papers that
are readily available. Using these materials, they will be required to construct their own
version of a fantasy drug monster. After completing the monster effigy, they can write
notes on drug-related topics, such as drug types and their harmful effects, and pin them on
the effigy. The drug monster can then be displayed in the classroom to serve as a constant
reminder of the dangers drugs pose to them.
9. Creative Refusal Tips Group Activity
10. Drug Monster Class Activity
Part 5 Classroom Activities
age internalisation of drugs abuse information via a hands-on aaaaaaapp pp p ro roac ac chhhh, hhhhhh and to
ood writing skills.
es:
to source for the relevant raw materials on their own accord aan aaand initiative.
pils to collect whatever discarded materials, such as bottless, can ans and paperrs thhat
y available. Using these materials, they will be required to o cccccoonstruct theiir oown
a fantasy drug monster. After completing the monster eefffigy y, th they ey ccan n wwrite
rug-related topics, such as drug types and their harmful effeectts, and pin th hem m on
The drug monster can then be displayed in the classroom tto serve as a co onsstant
of the dangers drugs pose to them.
Purpose:
To encourage students to ponder on the bigger picture of the drug problem and its effects
on society.
Resources:
Make copies from 'Articles of Interest' section (Part 6) and distribute to students.
Method:
Get the students to read an article of their own choice from the 'Articles of Interest' section.
After reading the article, the students will be required to pen down their thoughts on its
contents. These could include their personal comments, understanding of the viewpoints or
information presented in the article, or how the article might relate to their own personal
situations.
11. Read and Comment,
Analyse, Reect Individual Activity
Purpose:
Dramas or short plays can be interesting ways for students to understand the drug abuse
situation better, as well as effective means to spread the anti-drug message.
Resources:
A good way for them to learn is to allow them to manage every stage of the drama or play,
from scripting, to casting, costumes, props, sets, makeup and even sound and lighting. By
experiencing the complete process, they will have a deeper impression of the reasons behind
their performance and pick up useful skills along the way.
Method:
The extensive nature of this activity allows the students to collaborate and work on it as a
class, with different groups focusing on various parts of the production. The play can be
staged towards the end of the term, with invited guests as audience. It is also feasible to hold
a competition at the inter-class level to add interest to this activity.
12. Drama / Play Class Activity
Part 5 Classroom Activities
sti ting ng wway a s s fo for r st tud uden ents t to understand the drug abuse
means ttoo spre read d the he aant nti- i-dr drug ug message.
low them to manage ev ver ery y st tag a e of f t the he d dra rama ma or play,
props, sets, makeup and even n sou und aand nd ligght htin ing. g. By
ey will have a deeper impression of of the rreasons beh hin ind d
skillls al alon ongg th the way.
allo lows ws tthe he students to to c col olla labo bora rate te aand n work on it as a
g on n vvar ario ious us p par arts ts of the producti tion on. The play can n b be
ith iinv nviited ed ggue uest stss as a aud udie ienc nce. e. IIt is also feasible to hold
o ad dd d intere rest st to this act ctiv ivit ity. y.
13. Create a
Facebook Group Class Activity
Purpose:
Facebook is one of the most popular social networking sites in the world, and heavily used
by young people. Facebook groups are widely used to bond individual users who share a
common cause or interest. This makes Facebook a very effective tool to rally young people
and students to stand up against drug abuse.
Resources:
Create a Facebook account and appoint a few students to serve as account administrators.
Method:
Ask the students to form their own Facebook anti-drug groups. Encourage them to explore
various possibilities to educate about drug abuse using the various features and apps
available, including updates, images, contests and bulletins.
Purpose:
There is no better way to learn about something than finding out about it from those who
know firsthand. Students will have the opportunity to do just that with the people at the
frontline of the fight against drugs.
Resources:
Interviews to be arranged between students and the professionals who deal with drug-related
cases, such as CNB officers, doctors, rehabilitation officers and counsellors.
Method:
The students will be free to draft their own questions, and should be able to share the
knowledge and insight gained through the interview with their classmates.
14. Conduct an Interview Group Activity
Part 5 Classroom Activities
Part 5 Classroom Activities
15. Debate Class Activity
Purpose:
To encourage internalisation of drugs abuse information via a hands-on approach, and to
promote good writing and oratory skills.
Resources:
Students are to source for the relevant information to back up their viewpoint; eg. from the
library, newspapers and magazines, online, through interviews, etc.
Method:
The class is divided into two groups - 'for' and 'against' - for brainstorming, research and
preparation. Actual debate will be by a few representatives from both groups, and the teacher
will serve as moderator.
Sample topics:
- Should all drugs be controlled?
- Harm reduction - more harm than good?
- Does scare tactics work for anti-drug programmes?
- Drug abuse is a choice.
16. Songwriting
and Performing Group Activity
Purpose:
Music is always an effective means to reach out to youth. It has even more impact when they
are themselves involved in the process of music making.
Resources:
This is an activity meant to stimulate students' imagination and creativity. Teacher to
encourage every student to join in and contribute their lyric and song ideas.
Method:
Divide the students into small groups. Ask each group to choose any existing tune they like,
from any genre. Based on their chosen tune, they will have to re-write the lyrics so that it
carries an anti-drug message. Finished song lyric will be performed in class.
Purpose:
Saying "No!" is still the best way to avoid going on the path to drug addiction. To get the
students to know how to say no effectively, divide them into small groups so they can practice
role playing.
Resources:
This is an activity meant to stimulate students' imagination and creativity. Teacher to
encourage every student to join in and contribute their ideas.
Method:
They should first identify various scenarios in which they might be tempted to try drugs.
Based on these scenarios, they should then think up various ways to say no to any such
temptation. They must then act out each scenario, taking turns to play different roles. This
will help further reinforce their resistance to drug abuse.
17. Role Playing on
Refusing Drugs Group Activity
Purpose:
To encourage internalisation of drugs abuse information via a hands-on, self-directed-
learning approach.
Resources:
This is an activity meant to stimulate students' imagination and creativity. Teacher to
encourage every student to join in and contribute their ideas.
Method:
Students will be given a free hand to decide how they want to spread the anti-drug message.
They can choose any activity or initiative, ranging from providing community service to
leading volunteer drives or events. Whatever form it takes, they should be able to plan and
execute their preferred programmes on their own, making sure that they will eventually
deliver a clear and strong ant-drug message to participants and the public.
18. Project Work Group Activity
Part 5 Classroom Activities
National Council Against
Drug Abuse Youth
Drug Perception Survey 2009
Introduction
The National Council Against Drug Abuse (NCADA) was set up in January 1995 as an advisory committee
to the Ministry of Home Affairs to formulate anti-drug strategies and programmes. NCADA works
closely with the Central Narcotics Bureau, Singapore Prisons Service and Singapore Corporation of
Rehabilitative Enterprises to map out strategies to fight drug abuse. Regular meetings are held with
officials from these three agencies and the Ministry of Home Affairs to work out action plans for
preventive drug education, treatment, rehabilitation and aftercare support. NCADA also harnesses
community support for its programmes and promotes preventive drug education programmes on the
dangers of drug addiction.
Commissioning of survey
As part of its strategy planning, NCADA commissioned BDM Intelligence to conduct a survey in
2009 to learn about youths perception and attitudes towards drugs, drug taking and our drug laws.
The survey was carried out in 18 secondary schools from the various zones in Singapore via quota
sampling methodology on respondents education level, gender and race to ensure that the sample is
representative of Singapores resident population. Responses were collected anonymously on the self
administered questionnaire. A total of 1,688 completed, validated questionnaires were obtained and
the key findings are summarised below.
Information sources & consequences of drug taking
Respondents were asked what came to mind when they thought of the word drug. The most common
responses were that a drug was an illegal substance (32.8%), can be addictive (22.9%), and that it can
change the functions of the mind and body. Refer to Figure 1 below.
This is an indication that respondents have a negative connotation to the word drug and that present
education efforts are effective.
Figure 1
Part 6 Articles of Interest
National Council Against Drug Abuse Youth Drug Perception Survey 2009 Part 6 Articles of Interest
Respondents were also asked of their perceived reasons for a person to abuse drugs. The most common
reasons were stress (23.2%), peer pressure (20.8%) and curiosity (16.1%), as shown in Figure 2 below.
Figure 3 shows the sources where respondents obtain information on drugs and drug abuse. The 3
most common sources of information on drug abuse were talks (20.6%), television (19.6%) and handouts
(15.2%).
Websites were not part of the top 3 sources of information as the vast majority of respondents
spent less than 5 hours on the Internet weekly.
When asked to select all the preventive drug education programmes they had heard of, the
anti-drug talks, Anti-Drug Ambassador Activity and National Anti-Drug Abuse Day were
the most recalled programmes. These programmes were rated highly in terms of effectiveness.
(Refer Table 1 below)
Figure 2
Figure 3
Table 1
Figu g re 2
Figu g re 3
Table 1
In terms of whom respondents would ask about drugs, about 20% said that they would ask their family,
followed by teachers (15.5%), friends (15%) and counsellors (14.6%). Refer to Figure 4 below.
Figure 4
About 40% of respondents said that their parents have spoken to them about drugs and drug abuse.
Refer to Figure 5 below.
Of those, whose parents have spoken to them, about 85% said that their parents have
influenced them.
This implies that present education efforts need to be geared not only towards students, but also
the parents. Hence, parents can act as the first information source that will shape adolescents
fundamental perception of drug and drug-abuse.
Figure 5
Figu g re 4
gg
National Council Against Drug Abuse Youth Drug Perception Survey 2009 Part 6 Articles of Interest
Respondents were asked who else, apart from their parents, had spoken to them about drugs. This was
an open-ended question, which obtained 1905 responses.
As shown in Figure 6 below, lecturers / principals / teachers formed the majority of the responses
received, at 40.6%.
This highlights the important role educators play in the disseminating information on drugs and
drug abuse.
When asked of the mediums used to communicate the anti-drug message, 75% of the responses received
stated anti-drug talks and lectures as the most common mediums. This indicates that the vast majority
of respondents are receiving information from qualified and reliable sources. The ability to recall
these sources is a sign of message effectiveness.
Figure 6 Figu g re 6
Attitudes
Respondents were given a scenario where they were offered drugs and asked how they would react to
such a scenario. The responses are shown in Figure 7:
87% of respondents would refuse drugs even if it resulted in the loss of some friends. This is a
surprising finding given that the respondents were teenagers and are susceptible to peer pressure.
Figure 7 Figu g re 7
National Council Against Drug Abuse Youth Drug Perception Survey 2009 Part 6 Articles of Interest
Respondents were asked to indicate the degree of agreement / disagreement with various statements
about drugs, drug taking and the law. Their responses are shown in Figure 8.
79.2% agreed to the statement that the Singapore law on drugs is effective in controlling the local
drug situation.
Respondents were asked for their views on how drug abusers and traffickers are being treated in
Singapore. Their responses are in Figure 9 and Figure 10.
Figure 8
Figure 9
Figure 10
Figu g re 9
Figu g re 10
National Council Against Drug Abuse Youth Drug Perception Survey 2009 Part 6 Articles of Interest
Heres my son. Cuff him,
free him from addiction.
The New Paper 20 Jan 2009
Source: The New Paper Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Reprinted with permission.
Part 6 Articles of Interest
TNP Picture: Gavin Foo
PAINFUL DECISION: Tom (far left) saw his son
being handcuffed at the police station, but felt
he did the right thing turning the teenager in.
This cabby drives glue-sniffing son
to police post as last resort
Report: Andrea Yeo
andrea@sph.com.sg
SOME Singapore parents are turning to the police
when they are unable to get their kids to kick the
glue-sniffing habit.
Tom, a taxi driver, is one of them.
It hurt him to turn in his own son but he was at
his wit's end.
Tom works seven days a week to make ends meet,
and he feared for his elder son, Mark, 16, who
kept denying that he was sniffing glue, even
when he came home 'stoned'.
The Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) revealed the
desperate acts of parents, as glue-sniffing cases
keep rising in recent years. (See report on facing
page.)
Glue-sniffing made its ugly appearance in
Singapore 30 years ago.
In 1988, a total of 23 glue-sniffers were reported
dead over an eight-year period.
The New Paper first reported the re-emergence of
glue-sniffing in July 2007. The number of cases
showed an upward trend last year too.
What the numbers don't disclose is the heartache
of parents struggling to free their kids from the
scourge of glue sniffing.
Unlike many others, Tom is willing to share his
family's story, in the hope that others will benefit
from hearing about it.
The New Paper interviewed the father and son at
the Jurong Police Divisional HQ last Thursday.
Their names have been changed as a minor is
involved.
The problems first started last year, when Tom's
elderly father, who lives with the family, bought
a can of glue to mend a pair of his shoes.
Tom suddenly noticed that Mark, the second
of his three children, was behaving unusually,
coming home at odd hours and looking restless.
Then, one day, when he went to the toilet, he saw
the can of glue sitting on the toilet pipes. Tom
thought it strange that the glue had ended up
there and confronted Mark, who denied having
anything to do with it.
Said Tom: 'I did not have concrete evidence and
I asked my father to monitor him when I went to
work.'
Heres my son. Cuff him, free him from addiction.
Then, Mark came home one night from an outing
with friends looking 'stoned' and mumbling
incoherently.
The family then knew he was sniffing glue but
wanted to give him a chance to cut the habit.
They confronted him about glue-sniffing but he
denied ever taking a whiff.
His behaviour continued, so, one day, while
Tom was at work, he asked his father to make
Mark breathe into a plastic bag. His father could
immediately smell the deadly stench of glue in
the bag.
Again, Mark denied sniffing glue.
But Tom decided that he had enough of the lies
and drove his son straight to the Choa Chu Kang
Neighbourhood Police Post.
There, the police handcuffed the embarrassed
teenager, took him from his father and threw
him into a cell at the Jurong Police Divisional HQ.
Said Tom: 'I felt bad seeing him handcuffed. But
for the future, I felt I was doing the right thing.
'My heart ached because nobody wants to do this
to their children. But for him to get better, that
was the only solution I could think of.'
Tom said he remembered what a scourge glue-
sniffing was in the 1980s and reading in 1985
about Johnson Soh, the glue-sniffer whose
family had to cage him up when he would not
kick the habit. In 1987, Soh drowned in a pond,
apparently after sniffing glue.
Despite his good intentions, Tom initially
regretted turning his son in. His own parents
and wife nagged at him and questioned him if he
had done the right thing.
He felt alone.
Mark was also initially angry with his father.
Said the youngster, who has now kicked the
habit: 'At first, I blamed him because (I thought)
'I am your son and you still put me here. Are you
trying to ruin me or what?'
'But now, I don't blame him because if my father
had not done this, I would not have changed.'
Said Tom: 'Initially, he really hated me a lot. He
said nothing to me. From his expression, I could
tell he was very disappointed with me.
'But he now realises I did it for his own good.'
The police gave Mark a verbal warning and he
was released.
Then, last July, just four days before his 16th
birthday, Mark relapsed and bought a tube of
contact cement for $1.
This time it was his school which called the cops
when he was seen behaving erratically there.
His blood test came back positive and he was
hauled to the Juvenile Court with his parents.
He was put on probation for a year, has to observe
a curfew, and has a probation officer from the
Ministry of Community Development, Youth and
Sports to do spot checks on him at home.
And till the end of June, he has to stay at the
Singapore Boys' Hostel on weekday nights, after
school, where discipline is instilled in residents.
He can go home only during the weekends.
From December to June, Mark also has to report
once a week to the Jurong Police Divisional HQ as
he is an inhalant supervisee.
Each time he goes there, or has to return to the
hostel, his dad is with him.
Tom estimates that he might be losing $150 a
week by being with his son. But he wants to show
Mark he loves him no matter what.
Said Tom: 'I try to make him understand that no
better how bad a child behaves, I will never give
up on him.'
The CNB spokesman said parents can play a
critical role in fighting the problem as most
abusers are young.
She said: 'Parents can engage their children
in conversations regularly to understand the
stresses they face in their daily life and help
them address peer pressure and emphasise that
inhalant abuse is not the right way to fit in.'
And Mark is determined to stay away from the
substance that almost ruined his life.
He said: 'I am not tempted to going back to
sniffing (glue). Because of a $1 tube of glue, I got
into so much trouble.'
Helplines
Samaritans of Singapore: 1800-221-4444
Family Service Centre: 1800-838-0100
Care Corner Mandarin Counselling Centre:
1800-353-5800
The National Problem Gambling Helpline:
1800-666-8668
Source: The New Paper Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Reprinted with permission.
Part 6 Articles of Interest
Don't be like me,
ex-addict advises kids
The Straits Times 29 Aug 2009
Part 6 Articles of Interest
Mr Richard Peters, 51, has spent 20 of the past
30 years in prison as a result of a drug habit he
picked up at the age of 15.
Drug-free for six years now, he has a new mission:
teaching schoolchildren how not to be like him.
Over the past three years, he has given talks
to children from more than 60 schools on the
dangers of drug abuse.
The articulate son of a banker tried marijuana
"for fun" when he was still in secondary school.
Later, his drug use grew from marijuana to
amphetamines and methadone, and then on to
heroin. He also got involved in gangs to feed his
drug habit.
"My whole world revolved around heroin," he
recalled.
After his latest prison stint in 2003, he checked
himself into the Helping Hand, a Christian
halfway house, and resolutely refused to meet
his old acquaintances.
Faith, work and the support of other residents
in the home helped deepen his resolve to stay
drug-free.
At the home, Mr Peters, a bachelor, began to
notice how the children of many of the residents
were struggling with their own problems with
drugs and gangs.
At the same time, many schools would also
organise visits to the Helping Hand to see its
work. Gradually, Mr Peters, who by now was
employed by the home as a manager for fund-
raising, began using these visits to talk to the
children about the need to stay clean.
As word spread, schools began inviting him to
speak during morning assemblies and even to
teenagers at risk of turning to alcohol, drugs or
gangs.
Speaking to a group of 10 Secondary One
boys from a neighbourhood school one recent
Saturday morning, Mr Peters began by asking
how many had tried whisky.
A dark-skinned, scrawny child, who was 13 but
looked half his age, tentatively raised his hand.
Another four followed. The same question on
cigarettes, and the whole group, barring three,
owned up. Glue, pressed Mr Peters, referring to
inhalant sniffing which had been on the rise
among teens of late.
This time, the boys hesitated. "Not yet," ventured
one, smiling tentatively.
Soon, an overhead projector began flashing
photographs of addicts in various stages of cold
turkey, some throwing up, others emaciated,
with vacant eyes, sprawled on the floor, some
disabled, having lost body parts to gang fights
or drug abuse.
"Most of them are in prison; some are dead,"
deadpanned Mr Peters. The giggles stopped, the
chatty boys fell silent, serious stares fixed on the
screen.
Did they want to end up like the people in the
photos? "When we were young, no one spoke to
us about how a single puff of a drug can ruin our
lives," he intoned.
"Good things are not easy. Bad things are but
you end up wasting your life."
Source: The Straits Times Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Reprinted with permission.
Don't be like me, ex-addict advises kids Part 6 Articles of Interest
When a boy asked how to get out of a gang, the
answer was emphatic. "Seek help from your
counsellors or your teachers. Or call us. We're
there, the police and the CNB, we are all there to
help you."
Later, a "guest speaker" for the day, former gang
member and recovering drug addict Tan Boon
Khon, 51, took centre-stage.
Like Mr Peters, Mr Tan, who now works as a taxi
driver, had spent years in prison trying to kick
the drug habit.
"How do you think I feel when my son's friends
say your papa is a gangster?" he asked as his
cherub-cheeked son Stallone, nine, sat quietly at
the back of the room.
"I want to erase my past, but I can't," he said,
adding that he wore long-sleeved shirts while
driving a taxi, so that no one could see his
tattoos the "signs of his past".
"You boys have a choice."
Radha Basu
ST Photo: Mugilan Rajasegeran
Drug-free for six years now,
Mr Peters has set out on a
mission to save children from
the drug menace before it is too
late.
Source: The Straits Times Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Reprinted with permission.
One fatal mistake
Readers' Digest Jul 2007
In a lush Victoria park, Mercedes
had decided to swallow a tiny pink
pill given to her by a friend
by Anne Mullens
The first time I really saw Mercedes-Rae Clarke,
she was in Year 7, standing in the schoolyard,
a tiny bird of a girl with big brown eyes and an
impish smile. She was 12 years old then and my
daughter Kate's new friend.
I had heard about "Merch" from Kate for months.
Mercedes had moved into my daughter's French-
immersion class in Victoria, Canada earlier
that year, a new kid thrown among a tight
group of students who had been together since
kindergarten. Soon she was among the most
popular in the crowd. All the boys had a crush
on her, and all the girls wanted to be her friend,
consulting her on hair and clothes and music
and all the things 12-year-old girls spend so
much time talking about. Kate would say, "Merch
says this" and Merch does that."
But this was the first time I'd had a good look at
her. And I thought: What a beautiful girl. What
eyes! She had a big smile and a big laugh for
someone so petite and delicate. The other girls
towered over her.
Over the next 18 months, I got to know her,
driving her in a carpool to dance class each
week, often hosting the sleepovers that seemed
to occur almost every weekend at someone's
home.
This is the Mercedes I knew: an adventurous,
outgoing sprite who loved to shop and socialise,
excelled at dance, loved to try out new hairstyles.
My daughter Maddy, two years younger than
Kate, idolised Merch because, unlike with some
of the older girls, when Merch came over, Maddy
wasn't excluded. Merch would brush Maddy's
hair and give her a new hairstyle and include her
in all the talk.
A video of Mercedes from a school camping trip
last year shows her sitting by the campfire at
night, stuffing one marshmallow after another
into her mouth until she reaches an astonishing
ten, cheeks puffed out like a crazy chipmunk,
and her classmates doubling over in laughter.
That was a typical Mercedes moment: an imp
with eyes dancing in merriment, playing the
crowd.
A few times, on dance-class nights, her mother,
Sherry, would call to say she couldn't get away
from work just yet. Could Mercedes stay with us
until she could pick her up? Sherry worked at a
downtown funeral home as a mortician. I knew
her call meant a family was having trouble with
a death and she needed to spend extra time with
them. "Of course," I'd say, knowing first-hand the
juggle working mothers do to keep children safe,
with friends.
Sherry was a hardworking, strong mother of
three. Along with Mercedes, she had two sons:
Chris, a married adult, and Kody, a year older
than Mercedes. Sherry bravely left an unhealthy
relationship with Mercedes's father to forge
a new life on her own in Victoria with her two
younger children. They lived in the suburbs, but
Sherry wanted Mercedes to have the benefits of
a French-immersion programme near her work,
and that meant a long commute to and from
town for the two of them every day.
Part 6 Articles of Interest
One fatal mistake
The last time Mercedes was at our house, before
the fateful day that changed everything, Kate
and Mercedes spent a lazy August afternoon,
hanging around our backyard, jumping on the
trampoline with Maddy and mugging and posing
with our digital camera.
And then, around dinnertime on Monday,
September 5, 2005, the day before she was to
start Year 9, Kate burst out of her room, tears
streaming down her face. Mercedes, she wailed,
had tried the drug ecstasy. She had never tried
any drugs before. She was now in hospital on
life-support!
The day before, on a sunny Sunday afternoon in
a lush Victoria park, Mercedes had decided to
swallow a tiny pink pill given to her by a friend.
She was with two friends; one had tried ecstasy
before and said it was fun. That friend had
bought three pills for about $10 each from a guy
on the street in downtown Victoria.
When the three girls swallowed the little pink
pills, Mercedes began almost immediately to
vomit. Soon she complained of a terrible headache
and that she couldn't see. Then her eyes rolled
back into her head, and her body contorted in a
seizure. One of the girls ran to the nearby house
of a family friend to get help.
When Sherry arrived at the hospital about
90 minutes later, Mercedes was unconscious,
medical staff working around her. She never
woke up again. Over the next 24 hours, she
continued to have seizures, her blood pressure
skyrocketed, her temperature soared, she had
multiple heart attacks and resuscitations. She
was placed on life-support on Sunday night.
Everyone prayed a miracle would save her.
By late Monday night, Mercedes's brain scan
showed no activity: The tiny pink pill had
rendered her brain-dead. Sherry was faced with
what must be a parent's most agonising decision:
to disconnect her child from life-support, donate
her organs and let her die. The medical staff
gave the family time to say goodbye. On Tuesday,
the halls outside Mercedes's room were full of
people: cousins, aunts and uncles, and friends.
Sherry asked that close friends such as Kate
come to see Mercedes.
For Kate and me, saying goodbye to Mercedes
in the paediatric ICU is a devastating memory
that will never leave us. She was lying, pale
and motionless, in an ICU bed surrounded by
machines, tubes in her arm and throat, her lungs
rising and falling to the whoosh of a ventilator.
Her beautiful brown eyes stared out, vacant and
dull.
Mercedes was removed from life-support that
Tuesday evening. Her organs were harvested for
transplantation. Because Sherry was a licensed
mortician, the hospital allowed her to collect
her daughter's body directly from the operating
room. Sherry and her friend and colleague Bill
wrapped Mercedes in a blanket and took her
that night to the funeral home. There Sherry
washed and prepared her daughter's body for
her funeral. To me the tenderness and despair of
performing such a final act for one's own child
is heartbreaking.
For Sherry there are important messages she
needs the world to know: Mercedes was a good
kid from a good home who made a single bad
decision.
Sherry says the coroner's office told her a few
weeks later that the drug was pure ecstasy not
laced with crystal meth, as rumour had it. Sherry
also wants the world to know: "Ecstasy is seen as
the fun drug, the one to take to a party and have
a good time with, not nearly as bad as crystal
meth. But ecstasy can kill, too."
And Sherry wants other kids to remember
Mercedes. If they hear friends talking about
trying ecstasy, she pleads, have the courage to
tell a parent or a teacher: It could save a life.
"Mercedes made a mistake for all of you," she
says. "Learn from her mistake."
A few weeks ago, when we pulled out the digital
camera for a family occasion, we stumbled upon
a forgotten picture of Mercedes: that last day in
August, caught in mid-air while jumping on our
trampoline, big smile, hair flying, skinny arms
and legs flailing so alive and vigorous. So full
of promise.
And my heart broke anew.
Part 6 Articles of Interest
Girl stripped, molested
after she sniffs drug
The New Paper 19 Jan 2009
Court told that the act was filmed by
another girl
She was at a party when she became unconscious
after sniffing ketamine. Apple Daily reported
that transport worker Lau Ka Chuen, 17, allegedly
took advantage of the situation by stripping and
sexually assaulting the 11-year-old girl.
Prosecutor Leslie Parry told a Hong Kong district
court that another member of the group, a
15-year-old girl, filmed the alleged assault on
her handphone and distributed the clip to her
friends.
Lau, who was arrested two months after the
alleged incident, is claiming trial to one charge
of drug trafficking and one charge of indecent
assault.
The alleged offences happened between the night
of 26 Apr and the morning of 27 Apr last year.
The gathering comprised Lau, the victim and
three of their friends at a rear staircase of a
public housing estate in Hong Kong.
During the gathering, Lau allegedly passed
around ketamine.
After the girl was knocked out after snorting
the drug, Lau allegedly undressed and sexually
assaulted her.
Mr Parry said that although she was in a daze,
the victim was able to see what Lau was doing.
The victim also told police that after Lau was
done with her, he told another boy that it was his
turn to assault her.
But she regained her senses at that point, and the
other boy helped her to get dressed.
The victim, however, will not be testifying as the
prosecution has lost contact with her.
The girl's parents have sent her back to mainland
China.
Mr Parry said the prosecution would call the girl
as a witness if it could.
He said: "To say that we decline to call her is an
unfair remark. We cannot call her because her
father has refused to disclose her address."
However, defence counsel Sher Hon Piu told
Deputy District Judge Pang Chung Ping the
proceedings were unfair to his client as the
alleged victim cannot be cross-examined.
Mr Parry replied that the prosecution would rely
on the 15-year-old girl's testimony.
He added that even if she testified, the victim
cannot recall the details of the assault as she was
groggy at the time.
But Mr Sher insisted that the victim's testimony
was "overwhelmingly important".
The judge adjourned the hearing and was
expected to deliver the verdict later.
Picture: Apple Daily
Accused Lau covers his face to avoid
photographers outside the court.
Part 6 Articles of Interest
Source: The New Paper Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Reprinted with permission.
Teen gets high on glue and
jumps to his death
The Straits Times 06 Jun 2009
By Elena Chong & Jessica Lim
An 18-year-old school dropout, in debt from
sports betting, fell 13 floors to his death after
sniffing glue with his friend.
A coroner's court yesterday heard that Tiew Zhi
Xiang's tragic demise began in the middle of last
year when he began to bet on soccer online.
He soon fell into debt and his mother had to help
him pay back the $1,000 he owed. He promised
his mother that he would stop betting.
But problems escalated. In January, his father
caught him sniffing glue in his bedroom. Zhi
Xiang, the youngest of three children, said he
did it for fun and promised to never do it again.
But in less than three months, he was back to his
old ways, betting, loitering around void decks
and sniffing glue with friends.
On March 1 at about 6am, he called his close
friend of four years, Koh Wee Kiat, also 18, and
asked to meet him at the void deck of Wee Kiat's
block at Upper Boon Keng Road, near Kallang.
There he told him he was again in debt, owing
about $900 due to online soccer betting. To ease
his anxiety, they decided to sniff glue.
They went to the 13th floor, where Wee Kiat lived,
and sniffed glue at the staircase landing.
Zhi Xiang told his friend then that he felt like
dying, but the latter did not take his comment
seriously.
At about 7am, Wee Kiat decided to go to bed. He
saw Zhi Xiang off before returning to his flat.
The estate's closed-circuit video cameras showed
Zhi Xiang going back to the 13th floor, all the
time holding a plastic bag, from which he sniffed.
Wee Kiat told The Straits Times that at about
7.12am, Zhi Xiang called him but he was already
asleep.
Photo: iStockphoto
Stressed, scared and in debt
Part 6 Articles of Interest
Source: The Straits Times Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Reprinted with permission.
Shortly after, Zhi Xiang's body was found at the
foot of the block.
On the same day, his family found a note left in
his room stating that he wished to go and hoped
to see them in his next life.
State Coroner Victor Yeo recorded a verdict of
suicide on his death.
When contacted, the teenager's father, Mr Tiew
Kim Choon, said the family was coping with the
incident as "it is over now".
The 47-year-old said in Mandarin: "There is
nothing we can do about it.
"We just have to accept it. When it happened, we
were shocked. There were no warning signs at
all."
Zhi Xiang's death has put his friend back on the
straight and narrow.
Wee Kiat was so affected by the death that he
gave up sniffing glue.
"I don't want to be next. It's just so scary, I don't
want to spoil my brains," said the teen, who is
also a school dropout. "If I didn't agree to sniff
glue with him, this might not have happened."
Some warning signs parents can look for, said
Ms Peng Hai Ying, 29, a senior social worker
who regularly counsels problem gamblers, are
"deteriorating grades and an alteration in their
daily routine".
Said the counsellor from the Thye Hua Kwan
Moral Society: "If parents observe a change in
their child's behavior, like constantly asking for
extra pocket money, keeping late hours or locking
themselves up in their room for extended hours
of time, something could be wrong."
Her advise: If a parent senses something is
amiss with their children, urge them to open up,
assuring them that they have their support, then
monitor their behaviour.
elena@sph.com.sg
limjess@sph.com.sg
Helplines
Samaritans of Singapore: 1800-221-4444
Family Service Centre: 1800-838-0100
Care Corner Mandarin Counselling Centre:
1800-353-5800
The National Problem Gambling Helpline:
1800-666-8668
Teen gets high on glue and jumps to his death Part 6 Articles of Interest
Source: The Straits Times Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Reprinted with permission.
My daddy ate my eyes
The Straits Times 06 Jun 2009
Monster father: US
Those were the chilling words a four-year-old
boy struggled to say to the police.
The Associated Press reported on Tuesday that
the California boy may be permanently blinded
after police said his father bit out one of his eyes
and mutilated the other.
Bakersfield police said 34-year-old Angel Vidal
Mendoza appeared to be under the influence
of the drug, PCP, when he attacked the boy last
month, the Bakersfield Californian newspaper
reported.
After the attack, police said Mendoza rolled his
wheelchair outside and began hacking at his own
legs with an axe.
His son, Angelo Mendoza Jr. told police, "My
daddy ate my eyes."
Doctors at Mercy Hospital said they did not know
whether Angelo would regain vision in his right
eye.
The boy's mother wasn't home at the time.
Mendoza was due in court yesterday facing
charges that include mayhem, torture and child
cruelty.
According to the US Drug Enforcement
Administration (DEA) website, PCP
(phencyclidine) is a white crystalline powder
that readily dissolves in water.
Most PCP on the street contains several
contaminates causing the color to range from tan
to brown.
It is most commonly sold as a powder or liquid
and may also come in tablet or capsule form.
Abusers suffer from numbness, slurred speech,
loss of coordination, rapid and involuntary eye
movements.
They might even experience auditory
hallucinations, image distortion, severe mood
disorders, and amnesia.
In some users, PCP use may result in acute
anxiety, a feeling of impending doom, paranoia,
violent hostility, and in some, it may produce a
psychosis very similar to schizophrenia.
PCP use is linked to a number of risks and many
believe it to be one of the most dangerous drugs
of abuse.
The DEA said PCP was originally designed as a
human anaesthetic and later, produced only as a
veterinary anaesthetic.
But it is no longer produced or used for legitimate
purposes.
Today, nearly all PCP found in the US is produced
in clandestine laboratories.
Part 6 Articles of Interest
Source: The Straits Times Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Reprinted with permission.
Some think it's okay
to experiment
Most expat kids say no to drugs. But some don't think it's a big deal.
The New Paper 03 Jun 2007
Hedy Khoo
hedykhoo@sph.com.sg
There're teenagers but alcohol and smoking is
not new to them. But when it comes to drugs,
most draw the line, although a few are blase over
them.
The New Paper on Sunday spoke to some
expatriate students in Singapore to get their
views on alcohol, smoking and drugs.
They've heard of the expats who were jailed for
taking drugs but some still brush off the incident
as no big deal.
Ms Georgia Birkbeck, 16, a student at a private
international school, said of drug abusers:
"People should be given second chances.
"It's their own life. They can do whatever they
want."
An Indonesian student who wants to be known
as Jessica, who's studying here and smokes
regularly and drinks, also thinks the fuss over
drugs is unnecessary.
"People do drugs in Holland. There is no need
to be so strict about it here," she said when we
met her hanging out at Orchard Road yesterday
evening.
But she said she wouldn't try drugs as she
preferred to stay "clean".
Jessica doesn't frequent clubs, but hangs out
at house parties instead, where alcohol and
cigarettes are regular features.
She also claims to know peers who do drugs
"sometimes here, sometimes in the US, or
Holland".
Said Jessica: "They just want to experiment."
Among the people she claims to know is an
18-year-old Singaporean male friend who's
currently serving time for being a drug pusher.
Youths Arrested
In a Straits Times report yesterday, six young
expatriate friends were arrested here in early
February for drug possession and consumption.
Three have been sentenced to jail, while two who
are national servicemen will be dealt with by the
Singapore Armed Forces military police.
The sixth accused, a 22-year-old Indonesian man
due to appear in court next Wednesday, faces
five charges of drug peddling, consumption and
possession.
One international school student, Alexander, 15,
thinks it's stupid to do drugs here, especially
with Singapore's tough laws on drug abuse.
"My friends are smart enough to know the
consequences here. If they want to do drugs,
they go to Holland.
"Their parents can afford to send them for
holidays overseas, but whether or not they would
allow it is another thing," he added.
Another international student holding a British
passport, who only wants to be known as Suv
Pitt, 17, sees no need to try drugs at least for
now.
And it's not because of money or availability, he
said.
Pictures: Hedy Khoo, Kelvin Chng
Part 6 Articles of Interest
Source: The New Paper Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Reprinted with permission.
Some think it's okay to experiment
"If I wanted to, I can get drugs here, but I am not
interested.
"It's part of university culture in the UK, US or
Australia, and I will be going in another year's
time," said Pitt.
"I wouldn't mind trying marijuana, but no ecstasy
or hard drugs. I wouldn't want to reach a point
where I can't control myself," he added.
And ironically, the reason for his desire to try
the drugs was Singapore's strict laws on drug
misuse.
"Forbidden fruits taste sweeter," said Pitt, who
has heard of peers who go to Europe during the
summer holidays to try drugs there.
In contrast, he claims his curiosity for alcohol
has been sated as he was introduced to it when
he was 14 by his parents.
Said Pitt: "My parents don't encourage me to
drink, but they are fine with it. The thrill for me
to drink is gone. If I drink, it is to enjoy, not to
get drunk."
Young Adults?
One thing the expat students we spoke to seem
to have in common are parents who treat them
as young adults and give them freedom. But that
freedom comes with unspoken rules.
Max, 17, who's from the UK, admits to drinking.
He said his parents consider him a young adult.
"They don't have many rules for me, but they
expect me to make the right decisions," he
explained.
Alexander, 15, who had never had a curfew, felt
the same way: "The fact that my mother gives me
so much freedom makes me feel responsible to
not let her down. So I don't abuse my freedom."
That said, he admits to underage drinking and
even getting his foot past the door at well-known
clubs.
"You have to know the right people," he said.
"Being a part-time model helped."
James, 19, who has a British mother and
Singaporean father, considers himself in the
circle of young expats despite having a Singapore
passport.
He attends an international school and keeps to
the social circle from school and other young
expats.
Frequenting popular clubs at Clarke Quay, he
has done his share of underage drinking and
smoking since he was 16, and feels it is part of
growing up.
"Smoking and drinking are my vices, but no
drugs," said James.
Added Alexander: "Nobody among my peers
will raise an eyebrow if you drink or smoke,
but drugs are a different story altogether."
Most young expats interviewed said drugs did
not appeal to them because of the anti-drug
campaigns in school.
Frequent talks at school driving home the
messages on the severe consequences for drug
abuse.
It also helps that some schools conduct monthly
checks on students at random.
One young expat interviewed, Mr Eric Sean
Tumaewu, 24, an Indonesian who is a permanent
resident here, recalled an incident while clubbing
in Indonesia last year.
"My friend overdosed on four pills of Ecstasy. I
sent him to hospital but I saw him die."
He suspects that even his other Indonesian
friends here indulge in drugs sometimes when
they go clubbing, but said he has no proof.
"They have the money to spend, and some got
addicted in Indonesia," he said.
"But they wouldn't dare tell me as I will report
them to the police for their own good."
TNP Picture: Gavin Foo
In a different culture: Georgia Birkbeck, 16,
feels that people have a choice to do what they
want on the issue of drugs. Her friend (back to
camera), Jessica, 15, an Indonesian, knows a
drug peddler who ended up in jail.
Part 6 Articles of Interest
Source: The New Paper Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Reprinted with permission.
Glue-snifng stages
worrying comeback
The Straits Times 11 Apr 2008
644 abusers nabbed last year, a
5-fold increase over 2005; majority
are youth
By Chong Chee Kin & Teh Joo Lin
Glue sniffing, a problem of the late 1980s, seems
to be back after over a decade of decline.
The Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) disclosed
yesterday that, from an all-time low of 120 in
2005, the number of inhalant abusers caught
jumped to 403 in 2006 and rose further to 644
last year.
The numbers confirm what counsellors have
noticed in the last two years.
Seven in 10 of those caught recently were aged
below 20. Most were students, including those
from polytechnics and the Institute of Technical
Education.
The abusers came from all the major races, and
four in five were male.
The CNB's deputy director S. Vijakumar, who
chaired the agency's first press conference on
the problem in over a decade, listed three reasons
often cited by youth who abuse glue: boredom,
peer pressure and curiosity.
Mr Mohd Yusof Ismail, chief executive of the Ain
Society, which helps troubled youth, said that
today's youth could also be picking the habit up
from former drug addicts recently released after
long jail terms, thus "starting a new cycle".
These former addicts would have abused glue in
the past before moving on to other drugs.
When the glue-sniffing problem was at its peak
in 1987, 1,112 abusers were nabbed.
Mr Vijakumar said that the CNB wanted to deter
inhalant abusers from continuing their habit,
but it also wanted to strike a balance between
this and giving abusers a chance to reform
themselves.
Part 6 Articles of Interest
Source: The Straits Times Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Reprinted with permission.
Glue-sniffing stages worrying comeback
School-going youth caught abusing inhalants
were previously sent only to their school
counsellors, even after having been caught more
than once.
But, since last September, abusers caught a second
time have been put under CNB supervision, where
they are not mollycoddled, said Mr Vijakumar.
Thirty students and dropouts are now being
tracked. They meet CNB officers twice a week for
six months to a year, depending on how well they
respond to counselling. They also visit prisons
for a first-hand look at where they may end up if
they do not quit inhalant abuse.
Mr Vijakumar said that, if they do not do so,
they can be prosecuted or sent for treatment and
rehabilitation.
Glue-sniffers can be jailed up to six months and
fined up to $2,000 under a 1987 law enacted to
tackle the problem.
The law also addresses the supply side. Those
who sell glue or products such as thinners with
the knowledge that they will be abused can also
be prosecuted. Shopkeepers found to have sold
glue indiscriminately are required to record the
details of people buying glue, which costs about
$1 a tube. They are also cautioned.
If they persist in selling glue to abusers, they
face a maximum penalty of a $5,000 fine and two
years' jail.
The CNB has been monitoring the shops again
lately to check that they are keeping proper
records.
Mr Vijakumar said, however, that glue and
similar products pose a "unique" problem in
that they are widely available commercial items
which people have access to.
But he pledged that this technicality would not
deter the CNB "from tackling the problem... and
keeping the situation under control".
cheekin@sph.com.sg
joolin@sph.com.sg
Post your comments online at
www.straitstimes.com
Part 6 Articles of Interest
Source: The Straits Times Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Reprinted with permission.
Today's glue sniffers
lack 'fear factor'
The Straits Times 11 Apr 2008
Current generation of youth may
be oblivious to dangers of inhalant
abuse, say counsellors
By Chong Chee Kin & Teh Joo Lin
When glue-sniffing reared its ugly head 20 years
ago, Mr Mohd Yusof Ismail, 49, was still a rookie
counsellor.
He recalls seeing teens walking around like
"zombies" at rehabilitation centres and crime-
scene photographs of those who fell to their
deaths while they were high.
"It was worse than scary. It left a deep impression
on me. I thought something must be done for
these kids," he said.
The authorities acted and made glue-sniffing an
offence in 1987. Within a few years, there was a
sharp dip in the number of abusers caught.
It stayed that way until recently, when the
numbers started to climb again.
It started about two years ago, said Mr Mohd
Yusof. More teenagers hooked on inhalants
turned to him for help.
It was deja vu for the chief executive of Ain
Society which helps troubled teens, including 20
now hooked on glue.
Mr Mohd Yusof still remembers the first glue-
sniffing addict he counselled back in 1990, a
15-year-old boy.
"He couldn't focus, his gaze kept shifting, his
speech was slurred and he walked like a zombie."
The boy, he said, was once intelligent and active,
playing soccer for his school.
"The more I see teens like him, the more I don't
want the glue-sniffing menace to come back
again. Let it be buried in the past."
Although the glue-sniffing situation has not
returned to what it was like in the bad old days
of the 1980s, counsellors are concerned about a
new generation of youth who are oblivious to the
dangers.
Mr Abdul Halim Kader, president of Taman
Bacaan halfway house, said inhalant abuse was a
stepping stone for some to drugs such as Ecstasy
and cannabis.
Teenagers who think it is harmless and a cheap
fix compared to drinking and smoking are dead
wrong.
Dr Carol Balhetchet, director of youth services
at the Singapore Children's Society, said: "The
danger is they can get so high that they become
unaware of their surroundings... When things
happen, it's too late."
Although death as a result of glue-sniffing is rare,
according to the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB),
there have been a few cases in the Coroner's
Court over the past two years.
In April last year, a 14-year-old girl drowned in
a canal and a toxicology report showed that she
had probably been sniffing glue earlier.
State Coroner Ronald Gwee said the glue could
have hampered her ability to think and react to
save herself.
Then in January this year, a 17-year-old girl was
found dead at the foot of a block of flats in Pipit
Road. A plastic bag of glue was found in the
corridor on the 13th storey.
Mr Mohd Yusof has also come across two teenage
girls who claimed they were molested after
getting high on glue last year.
Glue sniffers can die of suffocation from even
their first whiff, said a CNB spokesman. "To
an inhalant abuser, even normal activities like
running and shouting can cause death by heart
failure."
Glue sniffing also damages the brain, muscles,
nerves and organs.
Part 6 Articles of Interest
Source: The Straits Times Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Reprinted with permission.
Todays glue sniffers lack fear factor
Counsellors applauded the tougher stance by the
CNB, which has a procedure to guide schools in
reporting inhalant cases to it.
School counsellor Soh Shiow Jiuan said the
agency's officers might be able to provide more
"stringent monitoring" and instil the "fear factor"
in the teens.
Mr Mohd Yusof added: "If we just keep warning
and warning them, there's no cut-off. We can't
afford to lose teens to this kind of madness."
joolin@sph.com.sg
cheekin@sph.com.sg
Getting tough
Strike One: Students caught glue-sniffing are
sent to school counsellors for counselling.
Strike Two: If caught a second time, they'll be
directly supervised by the CNB for between six
months and a year. In twice-weekly meetings with
CNB officers, they are told the consequences of
glue-sniffing and checked for signs of inhalant
abuse bloodshot eyes, weight loss and the
odour of glue. If suspected of glue-sniffing, they
are sent for a blood test.
Strike Three: If they are caught a third time,
they may be taken to court, where they can be
jailed up to two years and fined $5,000, or sent
to an inhalant treatment centre.
Tell-tale signs
Sudden loss of interest in friends, sports or hobbies
Abrupt changes in school performance
Sores or a rash near the mouth or nose
Nausea, appetite or weight loss
Fatigue or big mood swings
Chemical smell on the breath, clothes or in the bedroom
Chronic inhalant abusers will also experience hallucinations, anxiety and restlessness
Who to call:
Singapore Anti-Narcotics Association: 1800-733-4444
National Family Service Centre: 1800-838-0100
Community Addictions Management Programme: 6732-6837
Samaritans of Singapore: 1800-221-4444
HIGHS, LOWS AND A NEW LIFE: Jo and Freddy (not their real names) became addicted to glue and
got expelled from their schools. But they have since cleaned up their act: she is now taking private
classes in a bid to take her N-level exams and he is taking a course in customer service.
ST Photo: Terence Tan
Part 6 Articles of Interest
Source: The Straits Times Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Reprinted with permission.
Todays glue sniffers lack fear factor
'I wanted to see how it felt'
When Jo (not her real name) was at a friend's
party, tubes of contact cement were handed out
almost like party gifts.
Jo was only 13 then but, curious about what her
older friends were up to, she asked them for
some tubes of the industrial-strength glue.
The primary school dropout, now 16, said: "I was
nervous at first, but I wanted to see how it felt."
Her friends did not pressure her to try it, but she
wanted to give it a go because she saw them do it.
She was given two tubes of contact cement and
taught how to squeeze the contents into a clear
plastic bag before placing her nose over the
opening to take in the fumes. She lost track of
time that day and had no recollection of how
long she spent at the flat with her friends.
"All I remembered was I felt high," she said.
Soon, she was sniffing glue every other day,
getting her cheap fix from hardware shops near
her home. She would sniff glue either outside in
playgrounds, at friends' homes, or even in her
own bedroom.
Jo said she turned to glue sniffing because it
kept her "high", as she was unhappy at home and
had frequent fights with her parents.
A few months after she started sniffing glue, she
was expelled from school after a teacher caught
her in the act at a playground near school with
two friends.
She stopped only last year, after her relationship
with her family improved. Now, Jo is taking
private classes in a bid to take her N-level
examinations.
"I regret what I did as it got me kicked out of
school. I wanted to make up for what I did. Having
my parents' support helps me a lot," she said.
Chong Chee Kin
A whiff that got him glued
His curiosity piqued by what looked like a science
experiment, 14-year-old Freddy took a whiff of
fumes wafting from a can of contact cement
in his cousin's flat. He started coughing. The
bedroom seemed to spin. He almost blacked out.
"Funky, funky things started happening," said
the boy, now 18. What followed were daily glue-
sniffing sessions that got him kicked out of
school and alienated him from his family.
Freddy (not his real name) got so stuck on the
habit, he bought a tube of contact cement
everyday from a neighbourhood shop to get his
fix.
He spent a month sniffing glue and living with his
cousin in Bedok before he moved to Woodlands,
and introduced the habit to four friends.
"We did it on the top floor of the carpark," he
said.
He did not think anything was wrong with the
habit then, though he lost a lot of weight and his
eyes became bloodshot. He lost interest in school,
and was expelled when he was in Secondary 3.
His family confronted him a few times after
smelling glue on his breath. "I kept denying but
one day, I couldn't take it and I sniffed it inside
my room," he said. That was where he was caught
by his mother.
Freddy said he cleaned up his act when his father,
a former taxi driver, stopped working after a
minor stroke. "I realised... I needed change in my
life," he said.
He went to a centre run by the Ain Society in
2006, which helped him complete his N-levels.
He is now taking a course in customer service.
Of the past few years, he said: "I felt like I wasted
my time. Glue sniffing will make you stupid if
you do it every day."
Teh Joo Lin
Part 6 Articles of Interest
Source: The Straits Times Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Reprinted with permission.
My real story
Choices Vol. 42 Oct 2009
Part 6 Articles of Interest
My real story Part 6 Articles of Interest