No backing down on fight against drugs

A pair of hands taking some pills.
A pair of hands taking some pills.PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

The 2018 World Drug Report published by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) states that in spite of punitive approaches to drug control, the drug market is booming.

Yes, the situation in Singapore is worrying though not dire, amounting to about 3,000 drug abusers a year.

However, a branch of the UNODC has acknowledged that the production and trafficking of methamphetamine in South-east Asia is increasing to alarming levels.

Contrary to what the writer of an article in Asia Times, human rights analyst Gen Sander, believes, more stringent law enforcement, still harsher punitive measures and draconian sentencing are needed to punish traffickers and suppress the problem (Foreign article on impact of drugs quite inaccurate: MHA, Aug 3).

This should be done in tandem with improving efforts to educate the young and rehabilitate the end abuser.

To capitulate to traffickers who are heinous purveyors of addiction and death, acknowledging that they cannot be contained, while also legalising the use of psychotropic drugs, is an act of moral cowardice.

To authorise drug abuse to pervade our society with little punishment for addicts abnegates governmental and societal responsibility, and is also a morally reprehensible act.

Doctors in Singapore are against the idea of medical marijuana clinics.

These are known to prescribe substandard drugs in a non-standard dosing regime, sometimes with practitioners profiting amorally in abetting indiscriminate prescriptions.

Perish also the thought of controlling the human immunodeficiency virus by establishing havens for intravenous drug abusers, where new needles are provided for them to perpetuate their addiction - it is akin to gun advocates claiming crime rates are lower and society is safer for the practice of universal civilian gun ownership.

We want none of this fallacious, tortured reasoning as much as we respect the rights of others who tout it.

Yik Keng Yeong (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 12, 2019, with the headline 'No backing down on fight against drugs'. Print Edition | Subscribe