JOHOR BARU: School and university students are paying as low as RM5 for drugs to help them keep alert and awake to study during examination time.
Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said what is also worrying is that the trend is on the rise.
“Statistics show that 73% of those who tested positive used ATS (Amphetamine Type Stimulants) because the drugs are cheaper than cocaine or heroin,” he said, adding that most of those who took them are upper secondary students.
In 2013, some 1,222 students tested positive while it is 1,662 in 2014 and 1,938 a year later.
Speaking to reporters after attending a special security briefing for village heads nationwide, he said the effects of synthetic drugs, such as ATS, are dangerous if consumed over a period of time and could lead to brain damage.
“If such drugs are taken for seven weeks, it takes up to seven years for recovery and rehabilitation.
“And even then, the person may not fully recover,” said Nur Jazlan during the press conference.
Nur Jazlan, who is also Malaysian Drug Prevention Association (Pemadam) chief, said he hoped to get all public universities to set up Pemadam clubs.
“We give them information and materials, and the university students become our activists to spread the word about the dangers of drugs,” he added.
Nur Jazlan said that university students who become activists could be rewarded with credit hours by their universities to help promote this effort.
He said more effort is needed to tackle drug problems at hotspots in public housing schemes, fishing villages and Felda settlements, among others.
“Fishing village hotspots are in Kedah, Perlis and Kelantan while the Felda hotspots are mostly in Pahang, and low-cost housing scheme hotspots are mostly in the Klang Valley,” he said.