Five new psychoactive substances were reclassified as Class A controlled drugs from yesterday, the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) has said.
This means that trafficking, possessing or consuming these substances will become an offence and attract heavier punishments.
A CNB statement on Tuesday named the five drugs as Adamantyl CHMINACA or SGT-37; 3,4-DCMP; 5-Fluoro-cumyl-PICA; 5-Fluoro-SDB-005; and SDB-005.
New psychoactive substances produce the same or similar effects as controlled drugs such as cannabis, cocaine, Ecstasy, methamphetamine or heroin.
These five substances were moved up from the fifth schedule of the Misuse of Drugs Acts to the first schedule of the same Act.
CNB said that it would also be listing another substance - lisdexamphetamine - in the first schedule as a Class A controlled drug.
Anyone found guilty of trafficking Class A controlled drugs will face a minimum of five years' imprisonment and five strokes of the cane.
Offenders will also be liable for enhanced penalties if they reoffend or sell the drugs to young or vulnerable people.
Besides charging them in court, CNB will also have the power to put such drug abusers under supervision, or in a drug rehabilitation centre for treatment and rehabilitation.
CNB said reclassifying these drugs will allow the agency to take decisive action against the abuse and trafficking of such substances.
The fifth schedule of the Act was enacted on May 1, 2013, to allow CNB to control the proliferation of new psychoactive substances.
These substances can be temporarily listed in the fifth schedule for up to a year, with a possible extension of another year.
This allows CNB to seize them and restrict their circulation, and also enable the bureau to carry out research and industry consultation on these substances, which are necessary processes before a substance can be classified as a controlled drug.
Two new psychoactive substances were put on the fifth schedule of the Act from yesterday.
These two substances are 5-Fluoro-cumyl-PEGACLONE and SGT-151.
Referring to the situation with regard to new psychoactive substances worldwide, CNB noted that there has been a rapid increase in their number, type and availability.
CNB also noted that overseas journals have reported that many of these drugs are not forbidden and are permissible for use.
The bureau however warned that "their abuse has been linked to adverse physical and psychological reactions, including paranoia, seizures, hallucinations and even death".