The Straits Times
Published on Nov 16, 2012

Hopes high with drug law changes


THE establishment of a Community Rehabilitation Centre pursuant to the Misuse of Drugs Act reform ought to be seen as a beacon of light, signalling that society is maturing and becoming more progressive ("48% of drug offenders held last year were Malay"; Wednesday).

This could possibly be a step towards a more holistic treatment programme, akin to the drug courts in various common law jurisdictions such as the United States and Australia. Such drug courts are problem-solving institutions, engaging the support of health, social and legal services to work together to achieve restorative justice and empower abusers to reintegrate into society.

An individual's autonomy might be immediately restricted with stricter constraints and supervision. In drug addiction cases, tough love is undoubtedly necessary. I have high hopes that this regime will have a positive impact on reducing the rate of relapse by drug abusers and foster a more forgiving and supportive society.

Amira Budiyano (Miss)