Date of Conferral







Elizabeth Clark


Reducing recidivism for drug offenders has been a challenge in Singapore since the late 1990s, when there was a spike in reentry into the system. In the year 2000, resources were invested in rehabilitation and reintegration programs to bring a reduction to the recidivism rate, but the interventions have been unsatisfactory in preventing relapse and reincarceration. This study’s purpose was to describe and interpret the lived experience of male ex-addicts who were in prison in Singapore and how they made sense of their motivation to stay drug free after their incarceration. Motivation is an important predictor of reduction and abstinence outcomes for illicit substances, and self-determination theory provided a broad framework for the study. Eight participants were selected to share their lived experiences and meaning-making processes to remain motivated to stay off drugs. Interpretative phenomenological analysis was employed and interviews were conducted in which the participants answered semistructured questions. The findings revealed that (a) addicts’ core issues hinder recovery, (b) negative peer influence exists among inmates, (c) addiction might not be absolutely a chronic disease, (d) triggering events may be a good catalyst for permanent change, (e) there was a preference for quality of life over addiction, (f) there was growth in motivation, and (g) spirituality and religion are essential for successful abstinence. The study supported the recommendation to implement further segregation within prison clusters and to implement counseling that includes the resolution of underlying core issues. This study may lead to positive social change by supporting efforts to reduce the recidivism rate, thereby making the society in Singapore safer, and increasing the local workforce.