Trying to resist lure of drugs

The temptation to slip back into his drug abusing ways is something that Selarang Halfway House resident Ashraf (not his real name) knows all too well.

A few months after his release from jail in October last year, the 39-year-old former drug addict was offered a packet of heroin by a friend.

"That was a trigger," said Ashraf, who had served 40 months for drug consumption and theft.

"But I thought to myself, I have already suffered in prison, and I lost a lot.

"So, I pushed it away and said no politely," added Ashraf, who was speaking to the media after a tour of the Selarang Halfway House yesterday.

While serving his time, he received support from his counsellor, who taught him how to cope in such situations.

When faced with the lure of drugs, Ashraf tries to remove himself from the situation. "I also think about my mum and my children."


He has been convicted at least six times for drug-related crimes such as trafficking and consumption.

Now, he wants to turn over a new leaf, and keeps busy working the night shift at a laundry plant.

The divorcee also visits his three children, aged between 13 and 18, every day.

"I believe if you really want to change, you need to be sincere and change your heart," he said.

"Don't look back, look towards your future."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 12, 2019, with the headline 'Trying to resist lure of drugs'. Print Edition | Subscribe