Drug rehab centre helping ex-addict kick habit

Having narrowly escaped a jail sentence for theft, former drug addict Farhan (not his real name) knew that he was to cherish the chance he had been given, with his second stay at the Drug Rehabilitation Centre (DRC ).

The former hydraulic specialist was caught for drug consumption in January last year, after he was discovered high on cannabis at the void deck below his HDB flat. The police had come looking for him as he had been wanted for theft, said Farhan.

"When the police showed their badge, I thought to myself, 'Ala-mak'," said Farhan, 30, speaking to the media during a recent tour of the DRC.

Faced with a charge of theft and another charge over drug consumption, he could have been sentenced to a longer jail term for theft.

But he was sentenced to another stint at the DRC, where he had stayed in 2011 for an earlier drug consumption offence.

Counting himself lucky to escape jail and a criminal record, Farhan said he was determined to kick his drug habit by participating in the DRC's lessons and counselling sessions.

Besides a renewed attitude towards quitting drugs, Farhan said it also helped that the second DRC stay was more productive.

Not only are there more counselling sessions on managing drug addiction, there is also more interaction time with prison supervisors to recap the lessons learnt, he added.

Farhan, who has been at the DRC for about a year, believes these lessons will keep him away from drugs after his release.

"I am grateful and thankful for my second chance, I know I cannot waste it," he added.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 16, 2019, with the headline 'Drug rehab centre helping ex-addict kick habit'. Print Edition | Subscribe