In contrast to Singapore’s zero tolerance stance on drugs, some developed countries have begun legalising drug use, raising concerns for local authorities that this will create a more permissive attitude towards drug use. Drug users in Singapore have become younger, more affluent and also more educated. Given these trends, the Singapore Anti-Narcotics Association (SANA) has revamped its preventive education strategy to target youth, adopting a community-based approach to make use of the strengths and untapped resources of clients themselves. However, community empowerment approaches require investments in capability building, creating bridges across community assets, and establishing trust with community and clients—in other words, they depend more on social capital than financial capital.
This project provides: 1) a historical overview of Singapore’s war on drugs; 2) a detailed examination of our legislative context and penal system; and 3) a needs assessment of drug offenders and their families. Together, these provide the necessary backdrop for: 4) a specific case study of SANA.
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