CNB's short film warns against going down the rabbit hole of drugs

Down The Rabbit Hole, the Central Narcotics Bureau's latest project to educate the public about the dangers of drugs, stars local actress Jasmine Sim (above and below) as a drug dealer who takes the audience through the tricks of her trade in a whims
Down The Rabbit Hole, the Central Narcotics Bureau's latest project to educate the public about the dangers of drugs, stars local actress Jasmine Sim (above) as a drug dealer who takes the audience through the tricks of her trade in a whimsical, fairy tale-like setting.PHOTO: CENTRAL NARCOTICS BUREAU
Down The Rabbit Hole, the Central Narcotics Bureau's latest project to educate the public about the dangers of drugs, stars local actress Jasmine Sim (above and below) as a drug dealer who takes the audience through the tricks of her trade in a whims
Down The Rabbit Hole, the Central Narcotics Bureau's latest project to educate the public about the dangers of drugs, stars local actress Jasmine Sim (above) as a drug dealer who takes the audience through the tricks of her trade in a whimsical, fairy tale-like setting. PHOTO: CENTRAL NARCOTICS BUREAU

Dressed in a white gown and adorned with shimmering jewels, a fair young woman sits on a sterling-coloured armchair - a fitting throne for the White Queen.

Turning to the camera, she speaks: "She is cunning, ruthless and charismatic... A magnificent huntress who knows exactly where to find her prey."

A butler's silhouette can be seen in the background, a servant at the beck and call of the woman, whose beautifully furnished house displays all the trappings of wealth.

Cut, and new scene: The woman is now delivering a package to four nervous customers at their door.

She tells them to be discreet and to keep the windows closed, before offering them a "freebie".

It is the drug crystal methamphetamine - also known as Ice - which the woman, a drug dealer, never indulges in but unscrupulously uses to ensnare her victims.

The short film, titled Down The Rabbit Hole, is the Central Narcotics Bureau's (CNB) latest project to educate the public about the dangers of drug abuse and trafficking.

"The film tries to make the point that drug abusers are not only victims of their addiction to drugs, but also victims of the drug dealers, who care only about making money from the abusers' addiction," said a CNB spokesman in a statement to The Sunday Times.

Starring local actress Jasmine Sim, the film centres on a money-minded drug dealer, who takes the audience through the tricks of her trade in a whimsical, fairy tale-like setting, as she peddles crystal meth.

Ice was one of the three most commonly abused drugs last year, according to statistics from CNB. There was also about a 46 per cent increase in the amount of the drug seized by the CNB from 2019 to last year, with almost 45kg seized then, compared with 30.8kg in 2019.

Under the Misuse of Drugs Act, methamphetamine is a Class A drug, and possession or consumption of the drug can lead to a penalty of up to 10 years' jail, a $20,000 fine or both.

Last year, there were fewer arrests over drug offences, but a high proportion still involved new abusers and offenders younger than 30 years of age, according to a CNB report.

Last month, CNB seized more than 40kg of drugs worth over $2.3 million, including quantities of cannabis and heroin that were the largest since 1996 and 2001 respectively.

CNB also said the increasingly liberal attitudes towards cannabis among the youth was alarming.

In a 2018 survey conducted by the Ministry of Home Affairs, it was found that only 68 per cent of youth found cannabis to be harmful, compared with 84 per cent of those above 30.

CNB continues its preventive drug education efforts, particularly in the areas of drug trafficking, abuse and their harms.

In that vein, Down The Rabbit Hole aims to "remind the public that drug dealers are interested only in cold, hard profits, at the expense of individual lives, their families and society at large", said the CNB spokesman.

The film was made in collaboration with film and video production agency Big 3 Media. It borrows narrative elements from the classic tale of Alice In Wonderland, alluding to characters such as the White Queen and the Mad Hatter.

Down The Rabbit Hole is available on CNB's Instagram, Facebook and YouTube pages, along with a number of other short films produced by the agency.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on May 23, 2021, with the headline 'CNB's short film warns against going down the rabbit hole of drugs'. Subscribe