Be more alert and caring

Zulkifli (left) presenting a souvenir to a participant at the AADK community programme in Taman Ungku Tun Aminah in Skudai, Johor Baru.

JOHOR BARU: Everyone in the community, including non-governmental organisations (NGO), has a vital role to play in helping to bring down drug statistics in the country.

National Anti-Drug Agency (AADK) director-general Comm Datuk Seri Zulkifli Abdullah said a more alert and caring mindset among the people about the goings-on in their respective communities would be helpful in the agency’s efforts to combat drug abuse.

He also advised parents to face the reality that their children were at risk of being exposed to drugs whether they were in school or not.

“Social media and smartphones have made everything very accessible to our children, which increases the risk of them getting involved in dangerous activities as well.

“Parents should not be in denial and instead reach out for help if they notice that their children are involved in drug or criminal activities, ” he said after attending a community outreach programme organised by the Johor AADK in Taman Ungku Tun Aminah in Skudai here.

He said the programme was part of the agency’s three main components in fighting drug abuse, namely bio (medical component), psychosocial and spiritual.

“The objective of this programme is to reach out to the community and create awareness about the dangers of drug abuse and listen to their feedback and suggestions to make our efforts more effective, ” he said.

Meanwhile, state AADK director Azli Ubin, who was also present at the event, said the agency had previously identified 17 drug hotspots in Johor and was working with locals to combat it in the community.

He said the hotspots were spread out across six districts after studies carried out by the agency found that they had a high number of drug abuse cases.

“The 17 drug hotspots are located in Johor Baru, Pontian, Batu Pahat, Segamat, Muar and Mersing.

“We have identified the problem areas and will be organising various programmes to engage with the public, using the RM800,000 special allocation from the state government.

“Aside from installing 40 anti-drug signage in those areas, we will also be working with non-governmental organisations (NGO) and the local community to identify drug abusers and help them in their rehabilitation journey, ” he said.

He added that the agency expected to receive another allocation from the state government under the Johor Budget 2021 to fund its community empowerment efforts and the amount was still being finalised.

“AADK welcomes any suggestions and ideas from the community and NGOs so that we can fight drug abuse together, ” said Azli.

The public can get in touch with AADK’s 24-hour hotline at 03-8911 2233 or 019-626 2233, or visit Johor AADK at Blok 5, Kompleks Kementerian Dalam Negeri, Taman Setia Tropika, Kempas, Johor Baru.

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