SIBU: The increasing number of drug addicts in the country has prompted calls to revisit the effectiveness of existing strategies, programmes and activities to curtail drug abuse.
According to National Anti-Drugs Agency’s (AADK) statistics, 22,643 new addicts were detected in the country last year compared to 20,289 new addicts detected in 2015.
In 2014, there were 13,605 new addicts detected nationwide.
“Based on statistics, the number of drug addicts in the country seems to be on the rise and this is bad news.
“I do believe there is a need for a revisit on the effectiveness of existing strategies, programmes, activities and especially enforcement in our fight against drug abuse,” Assistant Minister for Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah told The Borneo Post yesterday.
Abdul Karim, who is Malaysian Drug Prevention Association (Pemadam) state chairman, said despite having one of the toughest law in the world against drug traffickers, they (drug traffickers) seemed to have no fear of these laws.
“AADK and Narcotic Unit of PDRM (Royal Malaysia Police) need a relook into their strategies in combating this menace.
“Pemadam, schools, related non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and society at large also need to create more awareness programmes on the danger of drug abuse and the rot it can bring to our nation and future generations.
“There is a need for more concerted effort to eradicate this menace,” the Asajaya assemblyman stressed.
Meanwhile, the 22,643 new addicts were detected across the country last year, constituting 74.32 per cent of the total 30,465 addicts.
Breaking down the figure further, from the 30,465 addicts, a total of 7,822 or 25.68 per cent were repeat addicts.
In 2015, new addicts detected in the country numbered 20,289 or constituted 76.08 per cent from the total 26,668. Repeat addicts made up 6,379 or 23.92 per cent from the 26,668.
In 2014, 13,605 new addicts detected across the country accounted 62.47 per cent from the total 21,777 where repeat addicts numbered 8,172 or 37.53 per cent.
AADK would be drawing up a strategic plan for the National Drugs Policy (NDP) in the effort to address drug related issues in a holistic and comprehensive manner.
Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed was quoted as saying the policy would serve as the reference point and key guide in combating drug abuse in the country.
Nur Jazlan also reportedly said at the Cabinet meeting on March 10, the government agreed that NDP become the source of reference for efforts to combat the scourge at all levels of implementation throughout the country.
The plan encompasses five core thrusts namely prevention; treatment and rehabilitation; enforcement, mitigating risks and international cooperation in combating drug abuse holistically. -The Borneo Post