The following is an excerpt from an ANCD report:
Singapore is a parliamentary republic with a population of 4.5 million. It has a diverse population of close to 5 million people of Chinese, Malays, Indians, Asians of various descents, and Caucasians. More than 40 per cent of Singapore’s population are foreigners who work and study there. Foreign workers make up 50 per cent of the service sector.
Amphetamine-type stimulant use
Heroin is the most commonly used drug in Singapore, although the use of meth/amphetamine has increased annually over the past three years.
Manufacture, trafficking and seizures
ATS manufacturing in Singapore does not occur and most drugs are trafficked into the country from either Malaysia or Thailand. Seizures of ATS have increased over the past four years from 96 incidents in 2004 to 268 in 2009 when a total 3.7kg of crystal was seized. In 2009, 1.24 million ATS pills were seized in 10 separate events. The increase in ATS seizures is thought to be the result of increased border surveillance rather than an increase in trafficking.
Just over 530 individuals were undergoing compulsory drug treatment in Singapore in 2009, 101 of whom were new admissions. ATS users accounted for more than one-third of new treatment admissions and 23 per cent of all those receiving treatment. Treatment admissions for ATS have risen steadily from zero in 2004 to 39 in 2005, 87 in 2008 and 143 in 2009. Treatment for synthetic drugs, including ATS, was first introduced in Singapore in 2005. However, specific details were not available.
Injecting drug use
The majority of ATS in Singapore is smoked; injecting is a secondary mode of administration. No details of the extent of injecting were reported.
There were 357 arrests related to ATS in 2009, up from 306 in 208 and 221 in 2007. Of these arrests, 80 per cent were males. Drug statistics in Singapore do not differentiate between ATS and crystal methamphetamine.
HIV in the community and among injecting drug users
The majority of HIV cases in Singapore are the result of sexual transmission (66%) and only 2 per cent are the result of PWID. This is thought to be due to the stringent drug laws in Singapore (there are only 330 registered PWID in Singapore). The population prevalence (aged 15 years and older) is 0.09 per cent and 90 per cent of cases are male. In 2008, one third of new cases were among MSM and 4 per cent among PWID.
Anonymous testing is available for high-risk groups. In the 2008–09 period, more than 18 000 anonymous HIV tests were performed, of which 1.2 per cent were positive.
HIV anti-retroviral treatment
Subsidised ART treatment is available in Singapore but no details were available.
HIV prevention education is targeted at the general population and emphasises the risks associated with casual sex and promotes the use of condoms for at-risk groups. Singapore also has educational campaigns designed to reduce HIV-related stigma and discrimination. School programs aim to increase awareness of HIV and AIDS and the use of condoms. Sex workers and MSM are also the target of campaigns to raise awareness and promote the use of condoms. These programs are mostly administered by non-government organisations.
Harm reduction activities are not available in Singapore.