JOHOR BARU: A pilot project launched last year by the National Anti-Drug Agency (AADK), which has been successful in reducing the number of areas with a high number of drug addicts, may be expanded to the 155 hotspots nationwide.
Its director-general Datuk Seri Zulkifli Abdullah said the agency was looking at modelling a programme after the pilot project which is slated to end soon. The project involved the participation of 15 agencies.
“In total, 12 high-risk drug abuse areas were placed as red zones under this AADK pilot project model.
“Nine of them have been successfully ‘greened’ and only three areas remain in the yellow zone, “ he told reporters after opening the Johor Baru Utara district police headquarters (IPD).
“So far we have managed to carry out rehabilitation efforts in nine areas and hope to complete another three by year end.
“We hope to turn the hotpots in Langkawi in Kedah, Petaling Jaya Selatan in Selangor and Pengkalan Chepa in Kelantan to green from its present yellow zone status, ” said Zulkifli.
He said that in Johor, areas such as Parit Sulong in Batu Pahat, and Skudai and Tampoi in Johor Baru were previously declared as a yellow zone.
“They are now considered green zones after the drug problems were contained, ” he said, adding that an area was considered green when the number of addicts or drug cases dropped significantly.
Zulkifli said that among their rehabilitation efforts were organising educational modules and awareness programmes for addicts.
He said as of June this year, there were a total of 95,505 registered addicts nationwide.
On another issue, he said the agency was willing to convert 20 of its Narcotics Addiction Rehabilitation Centres (Puspen) nationwide to admit addicts voluntarily instead of being mandatory at the moment.
He stressed this could only be done if drug addicts were determined to change and voluntarily came forward for treatment.
“We hope that at least 50% of drug addicts will voluntarily undergo rehabilitation at the 31 Puspen centres nationwide by 2022.
“Presently, we have about 4,356 people placed at all 31 Puspen nationwide, ” he said, adding that AADK was coming up with new programmes to get addicts to come forward voluntarily.
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