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Mahdzir: Most students on drugs take synthetic pills

BATU KURAU: Most of the secondary school students who tested positive for drugs took synthetic pills, Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid said.

From Jan 1 to March 15, he said 554 Form Four and Form Five students tested positive for drugs.

“The ministry has identified the hotspots and is working with the police, National Anti-Drug Agency and Pemadam (the NGO that works with former drug addicts),” he said after Sultan of Perak Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah opened SMK Kampong Perak here yesterday.

Mahdzir told district education officers and school heads to report cases of drug abuse among students to the respective state education department.

Even if there were only one or two cases, it must be reported, he said.

“The issue of drug abuse is a serious matter, as it does not only involve secondary school students but also pupils in primary schools.

In Ipoh, Deputy Education Minister Datuk Chong Sin Woon said the ministry had yet to receive reports of drugs being distributed in schools.

“We conduct routine checks together with police and the National Anti-Drugs Agency at primary and secondary schools.

“Efforts are doubled especially when we receive reports on high-risk students, but we do not subject every single student to urine tests as we don’t want to disturb their studies,” he said.

Once the student’s urine test showed positive for drugs or if drugs were found in his school bag, Chong said the student would receive counselling.

“We will follow up on the progress every three months to make sure the student is drug-free. We will send the student to a rehabilitation centre if the addiction persists,” he added.

In Johor Baru, state Narcotics Investigations Department chief Asst Comm Lukas Ak Aket said the state recorded 13 cases of secondary school students testing positive for drugs within the first three months of this year.

Although the number of cases was not high, the problem was worrying as it involved teenagers, ACP Lukas said.

In George Town, Penang Narcotics Depart­ment chief Asst Comm Maidu Abu Bakar said there were four cases of students using synthetic drugs in the state so far this year.

“We have close co-operation with schools on such issues,” he said.