Erasing the STIGMA

UNIVERSITI Sains Malaysia (USM) has launched a social campaign on drug awareness.

The campaign aims to increase public awareness of the issues and dilemmas faced by addiction survivors and to encourage their acceptance as members of society.

STIGMA, which was launched on Nov 12, will run until Jan 4 next year, and is a collaboration between USM’s School of Communication final year students and the National Anti-Drugs Agency (Nada).

“The students joined forces with Nada to lead social change and nurture positivity and empathy within society through online challenges, giveaways, contests and a social experiment.

“Join the events to help spread awareness and gain a wider perspective about the struggles faced by addiction survivors, ” USM said in a press release.

Participants, said the varsity, stand a chance to win prizes worth up to RM4,000. One of the highlights of the campaign was a webinar by singer Ezad Lazim, who formerly struggled with addiction.

He shared his experiences as an addiction survivor, giving participants a deeper understanding of what it is like to be treated differently as he tried to transition and turn over a new leaf. The webinar garnered more than 1,600 viewers.

His song titled Demi Cinta, he said, was inspired by his experience of being publicly arrested for drug abuse and is dedicated to his loved ones who never left his side.

“Through that song, I (pleaded with) society and my loved ones to not lose faith in me and to give me a second chance to change for the better, ” he said.

The war on drugs, USM said, is a global battle the world is still fighting.

“However, it is a war that cannot be won by brute force but instead with acceptance and empathy which is why this campaign wishes to lead the change in the way we fight this battle.

“To change society’s perspective, the organisers developed the tagline ‘See Wider Think Deeper’, which is anchored by three aspects: what you see is not always the truth, think twice before you act or speak, and be the ones to give somebody a helping hand, ” the press release read. For details, visit TheStigmaUSM (Facebook), stigma.usm (Instagram), StigmaUsm (Twitter) or email

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usm , stigma , drugs , addiction


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