PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has called on families to unite to propel the fight against drug addiction among youths.
He said the Government was concerned that drug abuse problems had commonly resulted from a breakdown in the family unit.
“An unhappy and uncomfortable environment at home causes children and youths to be exposed to substance abuse problems.
“This is because the children’s trust towards their parents is less compared to the influence of peers (and) driven by a high curiosity, it might cause them to be easily influenced by negative activities.
“Therefore, I urge all Malaysians to ensure our families practice a healthy lifestyle.
“I believe this will prevent your children or your loved ones from getting involved with a drug problem,” Najib said in his message for Anti-Drug Day 2014, which falls today.
Anti-Drug Day serves to remind Malaysians of their role in fighting the threats and dangers of illicit drug use.
Methods exhorted by the Prime Minister included the spending of quality time between parents and children, respecting the opinions and feelings of the young and educating children on the harmful effects of drug abuse.
He said drug addiction among teenagers was also associated with other issues such as alcohol and sex addiction, leading to more complex social problems, including free sexual activities, vandalism and moral decay.
He also highlighted a 2009 study by Universiti Utara Malaysia, which found that RM8.65bil was spent by the Government through direct and indirect costs to tackle problems relating to illicit drug use, including enforcement, rehabilitation, productivity loss and crime involving 63,884 drug addicts.
“This makes the cost per capita of drug addiction in Malaysia to be RM332. If the cost is used to build secondary schools with a capacity of 1,200 students, the Government would be able to provide 216 schools to benefit 259,200 students.
“In my opinion, if we are able to address the problem of drug abuse together, surely such costs could be used on other more important purposes to benefit all rakyat,” Najib said.
Among the existing public services to deal with drug addiction are the Cure and Care 1Malaysia clinics, which have assisted 39,452 patients since the scheme’s inception in 2010.
Other services available include the Cure and Care Service Centres in 58 locations nationwide as well as the Caring Community House, which provides guidance to local communities in managing drug abuse issues.