SINGAPORE - Thirteen new psychoactive substances (NPS) will be added to the Misuse of Drugs Act (MDA) from June 1, said the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) on Tuesday (May 31).
It said the abuse of NPS, also known as Mushroom and Spice, has been linked to physical and psychological reactions, including paranoia, seizures, hallucinations and death.
The substances will be listed as Class A drugs and it will be an offence to traffic, manufacture, import, export, possess or consume the 13 additional NPS.
Those convicted of trafficking such controlled drugs face a minimum of five years' imprisonment and can be given five strokes of the cane. They may also face enhanced penalties if they re-offend or sell to young or vulnerable people.
CNB will also be allowed to place abusers of these NPS under supervision, commit them to a drug rehabilitation centre for treatment, and charge them in court.
It said: "CNB regularly reviews its strategies to improve the detection and regulation of NPS, including the regular listing of NPS that have emerged in the market."
It added there has been a rapid increase in the number, types and availability of NPS across the globe, and a significant proportion of the NPS reported overseas are currently controlled under the MDA.
According to the CNB website, NPS mimic the effects of other controlled drugs like cannabis, cocaine, Ecstasy, methamphetamine or heroin.
They are produced by introducing slight modifications to the chemical structures of existing NPS and controlled drugs to create new variations that are not yet controlled.
Last May, 13 NPS were added to the MDA.
The bureau seized 3,150 NPS tablets last year, more than 10 times the 305 tablets it seized in 2020.
It was also the fourth most commonly abused drug here last year, with 121 abusers caught last year, down from 285 in 2020.