National Anti-Drug Abuse Campaign



The National Anti-Drug Abuse Campaign is an annual event jointly organised by the National Council Against Drug Abuse (NCADA) and Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB).1 Held annually in June to commemorate World Drug Day, it incorporates a series of youth-oriented activities to spread the anti-drug abuse message among students and non-schooling young people. To mark the campaign, a green and white ribbon is distributed and worn as a sign of the community’s commitment to overcoming drug problems.2

Background
Since the 1970s, the government had enforced many tough laws and taken stern measures to clamp down on drug trafficking and abuse in Singapore. Despite these actions, the country continued to face a rising number of new drug addicts from the 1980s to the early ’90s. To tackle this problem, the government decided to adopt a more comprehensive strategy, with Preventive Drug Education (PDE) as one of the main strategic thrusts.3

The body appointed to oversee the programmes of the PDE is the NCADA. Set up in January 1995, the council works closely with the community, the CNB and other relevant agencies, such as the Prisons Department and Singapore Corporation of Rehabilitative Enterprises, to organise anti-drug activities. These include seminars and talks to educate the public on the dangers and harmful effects of drugs, dialogue sessions with community leaders to obtain views to improve the drug situation, and the annual National Anti-Drug Abuse Campaign (ADAC).4 The first ADAC was held in June 1995. The campaign celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2015.5

Campaign goals and partners
The ADAC aims to garner community support for the anti-drug cause.6 Each year, it sets new directions for the implementation of future PDE programmes and activities.7

Other organisations that play a role in the planning, promotion and implementation of activities during the campaign include the Singapore Anti-Narcotics Association (SANA), Singapore Police Force and the Ministry of Education. Civil and grassroots organisations that are involved include the Chinese Development Assistance Council, Yayasan Mendaki, Singapore Indian Development Association, Association of Muslim Professionals, Muslim Joint Anti-Drug Abuse Co-ordinating Committee and Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura.8

Campaign activities
Each year, the ADAC adopts a different anti-drug theme such as “Get smart, don’t start – stay away from drugs”, “Stay clear – drug abuse causes permanent damage to your body and mind”, and “Life is a game of choice. Choose to win”.9 In 2015 and 2016, the campaign’s message was “Community Togetherness” and “Drugs are addictive. Escaping is hard. Don’t start.” respectively.10

The campaign usually begins with a concert, which occasionally feature popular local and foreign entertainers.11 This is followed by a suite of activity-based programmes such as exhibitions, seminars and competitions of various genres.12 One of the longest running events of the campaign is DanceWorks!, which was introduced in 1999 to use dance as a medium to promote the anti-drug message.13

Other events have included an essay-writing competition for primary school students in which the winning essays were compiled and distributed as booklets together with anti-drug information, and an anti-drug art competition where students and youths used art to express their anti-drug thoughts and feelings. The campaign has also featured competitions involving model making and game design, where the winning entries were used in anti-drug collaterals or featured in CNB publications.14

Seminars and meetings provided an avenue for professionals, volunteers, self-help groups and counsellors involved in anti-drug work to meet and discuss their work. An annual meeting was also organised for teachers and principals so that they could acquire a better understanding of issues pertaining to drug abuse among students as well as discuss ways to incorporate preventive drug education into the school curriculum.15 Student leaders such as prefects and class monitors were invited to participate in some of the seminars, with the intention of grooming them to counsel their peers at risk of drug addiction. These students are considered better able to relate to their age group and to act as role models for their peers.16

Use of media
To spread the anti-drug message to its targeted groups, the ADAC has utilised various mass media that are popular with the young. Besides traditional media such as print and broadcast, the campaign has also been promoted through less conventional means.17 For instance in 2001, the CNB worked with a film distributor to include green and white anti-drug ribbons and a bookmark with anti-drug information with the sale of copies of the movie Traffic.18

In October 2016, the CNB launched its revamped “Drug Buster Academy Bus”, a mobile anti-drug exhibition bus that uses augmented reality technology to show visitors the harmful effects of drugs on the body. The bus also visited schools and the Institute of Technical Education to spread the anti-drug message. With the proliferation of social media platforms, the campaign has also been promoted through Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube, using the moniker “CNB Drug Free SG”.19



Author

Alvin Chua



References
1. Central Narcotics Bureau. (2016, June 25). Anti Drug Abuse Campaign 2016: Launch of anti-drug escape game – speech by Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Amrin Amin, at Suntec City on 25 Jun 2016. Retrieved 2017, January 6 from Central Narcotics Bureau website: https://www.cnb.gov.sg/newsroom/current/news_details/16-06-25/Anti_Drug_Abuse_Campaign_2016_Launch_of_Anti-Drug_Escape_Game_-_Speech_by_Parliamentary_Secretary_for_Home_Affairs_Mr_Amrin_Amin_at_Suntec_City_on_25_Jun_2016.aspx
2. National Council Against Drug Abuse (Singapore). (1998). Towards a drug-free Singapore: Strategies, policies and programmes against drugs. Singapore: National Council Against Drug Abuse, p. 40. (Call no.: RSING 362.293095957 TOW)
3. National Council Against Drug Abuse (Singapore). (1998). Towards a drug-free Singapore: Strategies, policies and programmes against drugs. Singapore: National Council Against Drug Abuse, pp. 19–22. (Call no.: RSING 362.293095957 TOW)
4. National Council Against Drug Abuse (Singapore). (1998). Towards a drug-free Singapore: Strategies, policies and programmes against drugs. Singapore: National Council Against Drug Abuse, pp. 37–38, 40–41. (Call no.: RSING 362.293095957 TOW)
5. Number of drug addicts on the rise. (1995, June 10). The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Afiq Fitri Bin Alias. (2015, June 30). Celebrating 20 years of community support for anti-drug cause. Home Team News. Retrieved 2017, January 6 from Ministry of Home Affairs website: https://www.hometeam.sg/article.aspx?news_sid=20150629am3W0xM8gfwi
6. Afiq Fitri Bin Alias. (2015, June 30). Celebrating 20 years of community support for anti-drug cause. Home Team News. Retrieved 2017, January 6 from Ministry of Home Affairs website: https://www.hometeam.sg/article.aspx?news_sid=20150629am3W0xM8gfwi
7. National Council Against Drug Abuse (Singapore). (1998). Towards a drug-free Singapore: Strategies, policies and programmes against drugs. Singapore: National Council Against Drug Abuse, p. 41. (Call no.: RSING 362.293095957 TOW)
8. National Council Against Drug Abuse (Singapore). (1998). Towards a drug-free Singapore: Strategies, policies and programmes against drugs. Singapore: National Council Against Drug Abuse, p. 49. (Call no.: RSING 362.293095957 TOW)
9. National Council Against Drug Abuse (Singapore). (1998). Towards a drug-free Singapore: Strategies, policies and programmes against drugs. Singapore: National Council Against Drug Abuse, p. 40. (Call no.: RSING 362.293095957 TOW)
10. Afiq Fitri Bin Alias. (2015, June 30). Celebrating 20 years of community support for anti-drug cause. Home Team News. Retrieved 2017, January 6 from Ministry of Home Affairs website: https://www.hometeam.sg/article.aspx?news_sid=20150629am3W0xM8gfwi; Central Narcotics Bureau. (2016, June 25). Anti Drug Abuse Campaign 2016: Launch of anti-drug escape game – Speech by Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Amrin Amin, at Suntec City on 25 Jun 2016. Retrieved 2017, January 7 from Central Narcotics Bureau website: https://www.cnb.gov.sg/newsroom/current/news_details/16-06-25/Anti_Drug_Abuse_Campaign_2016_Launch_of_Anti-Drug_Escape_Game_-_Speech_by_Parliamentary_Secretary_for_Home_Affairs_Mr_Amrin_Amin_at_Suntec_City_on_25_Jun_2016.aspx
11. Andy Lau, TCS stars to push anti-drug message. (1996, June 17). The Straits Times, p. 31; Free concert at Malay Village. (1999, June 25). The Straits Times, p. 4; Koh, Y. (2000, June 22). Graduates more tolerant of drugs. The Straits Times, p. 51. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
12. Singapore. Central Narcotics Bureau, Preventative Education Unit. (2003). Get the party started. Singapore: Central Narcotics Bureau, p. 15. (Call no.: RSING q362.29172095957 SIN); National Council Against Drug Abuse (Singapore). (1998). Towards a drug-free Singapore: Strategies, policies and programmes against drugs. Singapore: National Council Against Drug Abuse, p. 40. (Call no.: RSING 362.293095957 TOW)
13. Central Narcotics Bureau. (2013, February 22). Celebrating 15 years of dancing against drugs. Retrieved 2017, January 6 from Central Narcotics Bureau website: http://www.cnb.gov.sg/newsroom/current/news_details/13-02-22/Celebrating_15_years_of_dancing_against_drugs.aspx; Afiq Fitri Bin Alias. (2015, June 30). Celebrating 20 years of community support for anti-drug cause. Home Team news. Retrieved 2017, January 7 from Ministry of Home Affairs website: https://www.hometeam.sg/article.aspx?news_sid=20150629am3W0xM8gfwi
14. Singapore. Central Narcotics Bureau, Preventative Education Unit. (2003). Get the party started. Singapore: Central Narcotics Bureau, pp. 17–19. (Call no.: RSING q362.29172095957 SIN)
15. Singapore. Central Narcotics Bureau, Preventative Education Unit. (2003). Get the party started. Singapore: Central Narcotics Bureau, p. 20. (Call no.: RSING q362.29172095957 SIN)
16. Anti-drug drive – student leaders to help counsel peers. (1997, June 26). The Straits Times, p. 43. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; National Council Against Drug Abuse. (1998). Towards a drug-free Singapore: Strategies, policies and programmes against drugs. Singapore: National Council Against Drug Abuse, p. 41. (Call no.: RSING q362.293095957 TOW)
17. Singapore. Central Narcotics Bureau, Preventative Education Unit. (2003). Get the party started. Singapore: Central Narcotics Bureau, pp. 21–23. (Call no.: RSING 362.29172095957 SIN); Roadshow to bring anti-drug message. (1999, June 22). The Straits Times, p. 39. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
18. Suhaila Sulaiman. (2001, July 5). Using Traffic to beat drugsThe Straits Times, p. 3. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
19. Cheong, D. (2016, October 8). New exhibition, social media image to turn young people off drugs. The Straits Times. Retrieved from Factiva via NLB’s eResources website: http://eresources.nlb.gv.sg/




The information in this article is valid as at 2016 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.
 

Subject
Events>>National Campaigns
National campaigns
Health and medicine>>Healthy living>>Substance abuse avoidance
Drug abuse--Singapore--Prevention