The story is the same, whatever the drug of choice.
Drug pushers will always let newbies get their first "taste" for free, said Mr Freddy Wee, deputy director of Breakthrough Missions, a halfway house for drug addicts.
"When you come back for more, the drug peddlers know you are hooked and that they've probably secured a loyal customer," said Mr Wee, 60, a former drug addict who has stayed clean since 1979.
"During my time, it was ganja and heroin. Today, whether its Ice or Ecstasy, the tactic used by drug dealers remain the same."
The Ice threat, however, has not gone unnoticed.
Ice overtook heroin as the top drug among new abusers in 2010, said a Central Narcotics Bureau spokesman in a report published in The New Paper in February this year.
In that same report, executive director of halfway house The New Charis Mission, Pastor Don Wong, had also told TNP that he was "increasingly seeing well-educated and affluent people using designer drugs like Ice".
The sale of drugs like Ice, according to Mr Wee, has a multiplier effect especially when drug syndicates penetrate environments where youths normally congregate such as tertiary schools, work places or nightclubs.
Peer pressure and curiousity can lead a person to "test-test", said Mr Wee.
He added: "I have met many young addicts who thought they could control their drug habit.
"But sadly, most progress to stronger drugs and are unable to fight their addictions. The best is not to start on drugs at all."
Those seeking help can call the National Addictions Management Service on 6389-2000 or 6-RECOVER (6732-6837).
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