Hop on this bus to see what drugs can do to abusers

A NEW mobile-exhibition bus, costing more than half a million dollars to build, will visit schools and community centres to educate young people on the dangers of drug abuse.

An initiative of the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB), the $560,000 vehicle replaces an older bus, which was retired in 2010 after five years.

The new bus packs interactive media, ranging from touchscreens to an interactive game with an autopsy table that enables one to see the effects of drugs on a person's organs.

The initiative comes after an alarming spike in youth drug abuse here.

In its annual report on the drug situation released in February, CNB said there was a 45 per cent jump last year in the number of first-time abusers below the age of 20.

The bus was launched as part of the three-month-long Anti-Drug Abuse Campaign.

Now into its 17th year, the campaign is organised by the National Council Against Drug Abuse and CNB, in collaboration with students from Singapore Polytechnic.

Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Minister of State for Home Affairs and Foreign Affairs, was guest of honour at the launch.

He highlighted the "worrying trend" of youth developing a liberal view towards drugs and believing that "some drugs are okay".

He noted that more people travel overseas now and are exposed to attitudes which are not in sync with the country's "zero tolerance" approach towards drug abuse.

Singapore, being an affluent and open society, is a prime target where dealers like to "peddle their wares", he added.

"It is important to up our guard...and work within our borders to make sure people have the right attitude to turn away from drugs," he said.

joyfang@sph.com.sg


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