Singapore's drug rehab programme humane, effective

As a former senior prison officer who worked at drug rehabilitation centres for many years, I can say that Singapore's drug treatment and rehabilitation programme is both humane and has a strong deterrence effect.

The drug situation here, both in the areas of consumption and trafficking, is well under control.

We, therefore, shouldn't succumb to the pressure of other nations to legalise the drug trade ("'Drug situation is under control. Why should we legalise drugs?'"; Sunday). Legalising drugs would spell disaster for Singapore and the region.

Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam put his opposition to the liberalisation of the global drug trade very succinctly: "For us, the choice is clear. We want a drug-free Singapore, not a drug-tolerant Singapore."

We have come a long way in containing the drug menace, and hence, we cannot afford to relent just to appease a few nations calling for a move away from criminalising drug use.

In fact, we should review the programme from time to time with the view to make it even more effective.

I congratulate the Home Team for a job well done in keeping drugs at bay.

Pavithran Vidyadharan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 05, 2016, with the headline 'Singapore's drug rehab programme humane, effective'. Print Edition | Subscribe