KUALA LUMPUR: Ongoing efforts in the war against drugs are needed by way of focusing on a comprehensive and balanced approach through preventive education, law enforcement and strategic cooperation with various groups, said criminology expert Datuk Seri Akhbar Satar.
This comes as the authorities demolished 19 drug processing laboratories between January and November this year, and seized various types of drugs estimated to be worth RM272.9mil.
Akhbar said in terms of enforcement, the police should regularly conduct operations as well as improve intelligence on drug syndicates in and out of the country.
He also recommended that the National Anti-Drugs Agency (AADK) come up with a new drug prevention education module to be implemented in collaboration with both the police and the Education Ministry.
“Although the problem of drug abuse among teenagers at the school-going age is still under control, continuous efforts to provide preventive education need to be intensified, ” he said.
While it is almost impossible to achieve a ‘drug free’ state, the government, through the authorities, is constantly striving to ensure that drug trafficking and abuse, which contributes to other social ills, is curbed.
The commitment in combating drugs is one of the eight social indicators to measure the growth of the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030 and a key focus of the Security and Public Order Policy launched by the government.
Authorities have continued with their operations to dismantle drug laboratories and bust syndicates, including those with international networks, and arrest dealers and addicts.
Between January and Nov 24, police seized drugs, including heroin (634.3kg), cannabis (624.5kg), syabu (4.8 tonnes) and ketamine (251.6kg).
According to the Bukit Aman Narcotics CID statistics, 163,496 drug offenders, who were suppliers (25,077 people), possessors (61,629 people) and addicts (76,790 people) were detained nationwide during this time.
The result of the authorities’ dedication against the drug menace can be seen in the decrease of overall number of drug addicts in 2018 compared to the previous year.
According to the AADK’s website, 20,223 addicts were documented in 2018 with 17,315 new addicts and 2,908 relapse cases, compared to 21,354 addicts with 18,112 new addicts and 3,242 relapse cases in 2017.
The 2018 statistics also showed that 541 addicts were between 13 and 18 years old, 15,131 people were aged between 19 and 39, and 4,551 people were over 40.
“I think all government agencies need to put in the efforts to combat drugs and not to expect the authorities to do it alone, ” said Akhbar.
Social activist Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye described the Security and Public Order Policy and the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030 as a government initiative and step to ensure that the country continues to prosper and is free of drugs.
Lee said family institutions should also play an important role in educating children to stay away from drugs.
“In other words, combating drugs requires constant determination by all parties and it cannot be left to only certain agencies or groups to solve it, ” he said.
Lee said as long as there were weaknesses at any level, it would provide opportunities for drug suppliers and users, and the community would continue to be threatened by this menace. — Bernama
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