'Ice' put her marriage on the rocks

SINGAPORE - Tears welled when she recalled how her former husband’s drug addiction destroyed their marriage. 

Linda (not her real name) knew that her ex-husband had dabbled with methamphetamines, or "Ice", before they got married in 2002.

The 33-year-old, who works in sales, said: "He promised that he would give up the habit once I became his wife.

"It turned out to be an empty promise."

Linda gave birth to their first child, a girl, in 2003 and thought that her husband would mend his ways.

"He stopped smoking Ice for about a month. But not long afterwards, he started abusing the drug again.

"I did not have the heart to report him to the authorities as I loved him so much."

The drug habit also affected the husband's performance at work. The executive, who earned about $2,000 a month, was sacked from his job soon after the birth of their daughter.

Linda said: "He had been warned several times by his then-boss for his tardiness. Because of the drug habit, he would go to work late or even skip going altogether.

"I guess the boss got tired of his nonsense."

She ended up having to support her jobless husband.

"He was arrested in late 2003 and I was devastated. But I thought that a stint in prison would teach him a good lesson."

She was wrong.

Back to the habit


Back to the habit

Shortly after his release in 2004, her husband returned to his old habit. By then, she had become pregnant again.

"He got arrested again in 2005 and I decided enough was enough. Even though I still loved him dearly, I knew that he just wouldn't change.

"So I made a very painful decision and asked for a divorce. It was a very difficult choice to make, but I knew I had to do it."

Linda is now a single mother with two young children. She said that she would think twice before marrying again.

"I'm more wary of men now. I had been disappointed over and over again by my ex-husband. Just give me more time, I guess."

While 225 of the 1,104 new abusers last year were below the age of 20, the majority were yuppies - 530, or 48 per cent - were aged between 20 and 29.

Ice was the most popular drug among the new abusers.

The statistics for the synthetic drug are alarming, with more than 1,000 methamphetamine abusers arrested last year.

This was a 60 per cent increase from the 700 arrested the year before.

The Central Narcotics Bureau also saw the amount of Ice seized during raids and checks rise to a record-breaking 14kg last year, up from 5.5kg in 2010.

The prevalence of methamphetamine in Singapore mirrors that of the international scene.

The number of global methamphetamine seizures in 2010 was more than double the number in 2008, this year's United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) report indicated.

It also named Ice as the most commonly used drug in Brunei, Japan, Philippines and South Korea.

This article was first published in  The New Paper  .

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