Central Narcotics Bureau uses Alice in Wonderland as inspiration for drug prevention film

The Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) in Singapore has taken a page out of "Alice in Wonderland" in its short film titled "Down the Rabbit Hole". The film depicts how a money-minded lady runs her business and offers a glimpse into the mindset and motivations of a drug dealer. This dealer leads a lavish lifestyle and is careful not to abuse drugs herself, as she knows what the consequences are. She is focused on acquiring new customers and sees them only as profit-making digits. The film tries to make the point that drug abusers are not only victims of their addiction to drugs, they are also victims of the drug dealers, who only care about making money out of the abusers’ addiction.

CNB's spokesperson told MARKETING-INTERACTIVE that the concept helps to bring out the initially whimsical and ultimately dark world which befalls those who meddle with drugs. The short film has received positive responses from netizens, with some of them complimenting CNB for the good work, adding that this must have been a fun project to work on. Some netizens also asked questions regarding its scripting and production, and whether the film was speaking to its intended audience. At the time of writing, the film had 164k views on Facebook, 32k views on YouTube and 4k views on Instagram. 

According to CNB's spokesperson, Down the Rabbit Hole is part of its preventive drug education content that features ex-abusers, their family members, and those who had suffered but supported them in their rehabilitation and reintegration journey.

"We decided to seize on the tinselled portrayal of drug dealers in TV shows and movies that seek to appeal to the ‘Netflix generation’, and use this short film to send out a reminder that on the contrary drug dealers are only interested in cold, hard profits, at the expense of individual lives, their families and society at large," the spokesperson added. 

As part of CNB’s preventive drug education efforts, it seeks to produce and share content that presents different aspects of the harms and destruction caused by drug trafficking and abuse to bring the anti-drug message across more effectively. This particular short film provides glimpses into the modus operandi and motivations of a drug dealer. Separately, on 17 May, CNB announced on its social platforms the release of its virtual reality mobile game, "Man in the Mirror", which was developed in collaboration with the School of Design and Media, Nanyang Polytechnic Singapore. 

Its post said: "The choices we make today shape our tomorrow. What would you do to help a struggling youth make the right choice to overcome drug addiction and regain purpose in life?". CNB said the game was officially made available on Google Play on 21 May this year and released together with a giveaway CNB hosted, which allowed participants a chance to win a pair of VR cardboard headsets.