A major difficulty faced by most addiction centres in the world is the treatment gap, which could be as high as 90% or higher. However, Singapore has bucked the general trend in the last decade with the national treatment gap for alcohol abuse decreasing from 97% in 2010 to 81% in 2016, while treatment procrastination period for alcohol abuse shortened from 13 years in 2010 to 4 years in 20161.
On the same note, the life time prevalence of alcohol abuse has increased from 3.1% in 2010 to 4.1% in 2016, although alcohol dependence remained stable at 0.5%1. In this aspect, plans are afoot to intensify efforts in preventive education, as well as early detection of alcohol and other addictions. The research unit will also be embarking on studies that analyse the impact of technology on addictive behaviours, and the use of applications to manage urges and cravings.
The use of technology holds great promise for NAMS, as it examines the ways applications and teleconferencing can be used to bolster treatment.
Over the years, there has been many changes in the addiction landscape. Concerns about addictions have evolved to include the current addictive potential of technology, and newer designer drugs in the market. These developments not only present new challenges to the society, but further highlight the need for an organisation like NAMS. Much work remains to be done as NAMS seeks to continue in its journey to grow and innovate, and stay ahead of the game in treating addictions.