On 6 February 2024, the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) arrested three student drug abusers who were found to be abusing ‘Ice’. All three had admitted to abusing drugs together on some occasions. The arrest of these student drug abusers highlights a key finding from the Institute of Mental Health’s 2022 Health and Lifestyle Survey, specifically that the mean age of onset of drug abuse was 15.9 years of age, while 41.8% of those who abused drugs started before the age of 18.
In the early hours of 6 February, CNB officers visited the residence of a 14-year-old girl and arrested her therein for suspected drug abuse. A stained packet was recovered from a search of her room. Preliminary investigations found that the 14-year-old had started abusing ‘Ice’ when she was 13 and on the last occasion she abused ‘Ice’, which was about a week before her arrest, she was abusing ‘Ice’ at home with two other female friends.
CNB officers proceeded to arrest the two other girls, both 13 years of age, at their residences. Preliminary investigations found that the two 13-year-old girls had, on occasions, abused ‘Ice’ at the home of the 14-year-old. One of the 13-year-old had decided to participate in abusing ‘Ice’ out of curiosity when she saw the other two girls doing so.
These preliminary findings further echo the findings of IMH’s 2022 Health and Lifestyle Survey, which found that residences – one’s own home or a friend’s home – were the most commonly cited locations for drug consumption and that ‘curiosity’ was one of the more often cited reasons for drug abuse.
Assistant Commissioner Sng Chern Hong, Deputy Director CNB (Policy & Administration), said:
“This case is a reminder that the fight against drugs is not one that CNB can win by itself, that parents, family members, schools, all have a part to play in this fight. It is important that parents initiate conversations with their children about the harms of drugs so as to build up their resilience against drugs. Parents will have to sustain the conversation by constantly reminding their children not to be tempted or pressured by their peers into taking drugs as drug abuse can and will have devastating consequences”.
Investigations on all the three girls are ongoing.