SINGAPORE - The Singapore Anti-Narcotics Association (Sana) has played a pivotal role in the fight against drugs, President Halimah Yacob said on Saturday (June 25).
She was speaking as guest of honour at the voluntary organisation's 50th anniversary at Nanyang Technological University's one-north campus.
Said President Halimah: "Sana has come a long way since its establishment in 1972. In the 1970s, the hippie culture led to the prevalent abuse of cannabis and heroin in Singapore, particularly among the young.
"Sana was set up in August 1972 to complement the work of the Central Narcotics Bureau, particularly in educating the public on the dangers of drug abuse and providing recovering abusers with counselling and aftercare services."
Singapore has been successful in keeping its drug situation under control and in reducing re-offending, said President Halimah, with the country's two-year recidivism rate for the 2019 release cohort being the lowest in 30 years at 20 per cent.
"There is no doubt that Sana played an important role in that," she added.
Madam Halimah acknowledged Sana's contribution in the rehabilitation and reintegration of drug abusers, as well as supporting their families.
Having begun work in this area in 1977, when it recruited, trained and mobilised 1,000 volunteer aftercare officers in less than five months, Sana continues to provide aftercare support to aid the reintegration of ex-abusers through the Sana Religious Group of Volunteers and Sana Befrienders programme.
Sana also tailors its services to meet the needs of its clients, President Halimah said, highlighting the female support groups and female peer leaders who assist its female clients.
She also acknowledged Sana's step up centres, which are one-stop facilities incorporating essential aftercare support services and recovery support groups.
The first two centres, located at Sengkang Community Hub and Taman Jurong, have served close to 2,400 clients over the past seven years, and last month, Sana officially launched its third centre - [email protected] - in Ace The Place Community Club in Woodlands.