Singapore drug cases jump 42 pct on Subutex abuse

Singapore is reporting problems with buprenorphine misuse. It’s too bad that the drug they’ve used is not Suboxone. Suboxone has naloxone added to reduce the potential for misuse. It will be interesting to see if the addition of naloxone is effective in reducing diversion.

Drug-abuse cases in Singapore soared last year, mainly because of a surge in the use of Subutex, a drug which was introduced to help wean drug addicts off heroin, Singapore’s Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) said.

Singapore introduced Subutex as a prescription medication five years ago to help wean addicts off heroin. But the narcotics agency said that 30 percent of abusers caught were hooked on Subutex, which is sometimes mixed with a tranquiliser or other drugs to produce a high.

But in mid-August, the government reclassified Subutex as an illegal drug. Since then, authorities have arrested a total of 347 people for abusing the drug. In all, Singapore has arrested 1,127 users last year, up 42 percent from 793 in 2005, the CNB said in a statement.