Glue-sniffing making a comeback in Singapore

April 11th, 2008 - 1:47 pm ICT by admin  

Singapore, April 11 (DPA) Glue-sniffing among Singapore’s youth is making a worrying comeback after a decade in decline, news reports said Friday. Seven in 10 of those caught recently were below 20, mostly students, and represented all the major races in the city-state, Chinese, Malays and Indians.

The number of inhalant abusers caught has risen from an all-time low of 120 in 2005 to 644 in 2007, according to the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) data in The Straits Times.

Four in five nabbed were male.

CNB deputy director S. Vijakumar said that boredom, peer pressure and curiosity were the three reasons most often given by those who abuse glue.

When the glue-sniffing problem was at its peak in 1987, 1,112 abusers were caught.

Glue-sniffers can be jailed up to six months and fined a maximum of 2,000 Singapore dollars ($2,700).

Alternatives for students are counselling with CNB officers for six to 12 months.

Counsellors told the newspaper that they are concerned about a new generation of youth who are oblivious to the dangers.

“The danger is they can get so high that they become unaware of their surroundings,” Carol Balhetchet, director of youth services at the Singapore Children’s Society, was quoted as saying. “When things happen, it’s too late.”

Glue sniffing damages the brain, muscles, nerves and organs, the CNB said.

“To an inhalant abuser, even normal activities like running and shouting can cause death by heart failure,” a spokesman said.

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