Authorities seek ways to deal with glue and dung addicts

Serious problem: Used glue cans found strewn under a bridge along Jalan Hang Tuah which is popular with tourists.

Serious problem: Used glue cans found strewn under a bridge along Jalan Hang Tuah which is popular with tourists.

MALACCA: The Enforcement authorities here have a lot on their plates. Not only do they have to eradicate the glue-sniffing menace, they also need to deal with those who are addicted to cow dung.

The number of youths, including females, hooked on glue has been growing at an alarming rate, with some even carrying out their glue-sniffing activities in broad daylight.

State health and sports development committee chairman Datuk Ab Rahaman Ab Karim said many teenagers were becoming addicted to sniffing glue and cow dung.

“There should be more awareness programmes on the negative consequences of the sale of glue to teenagers. The Ramadan month could be the best time to discourage glue-sniffing activities,” he said.

He suggested that the authorities should invite hardcore addicts to a buka puasa session to educate them on the health hazards of glue sniffing.

The village headmen, he said, could imbibe the addicts with religious values during Ramadan to help them kick the habit.

A check by The Star at hotspots in the historic city found many “high” glue sniffers sleeping on the benches along Jalan Tun Ali, Jalan Hang Tuah and Jalan Pasar Lama.

A 14-year-old addict claimed he sniffed glue to forget his past. The smell of glue, he said, distorted his senses and led to hallucination.

He added that glue was easily available in Malacca for less than RM2, and that a can could be shared among several addicts.

Malacca Deputy CID chief Supt P.R. ­ Gunarajan said the addicts would pour glue onto a piece of cloth which they would then roll up and sniff, or pour the substance into a bag.

As for the cow dung, he said the addicts would collect the faeces in plastic bags and inhale the contents until the effect kicked in.

“Some of them enhance the pleasure of intoxication by putting the glue directly into their mouth. The craving for the smell of glue has turned these teenagers into hardcore glue addicts,” he said.

He added that the addicts were linked to the rising rate of petty crimes in the city such as the theft of manhole covers.

At present, police and other enforcement agencies could not detain glue sniffers until a law drafted by the National Anti-Drug Agency is tabled and passed in Parliament, he explained.

Lifestyle , drug addicts