PUTRAJAYA: The Home Ministry has made a special request of RM10mil so that more initiatives can be carried out to maintain the recovery of former drug addicts, says Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin (pic).
The Home Minister said the request has been made under the Budget 2022.
He said efforts to ensure former drug addicts do not go back to their old habits were as equally important as treating substance abusers.
“In an effort to help drug addicts, the authorities should explore treatment programmes using modern technology so that treatment services provided here are at par with other countries,” he said at the virtual opening of a drug recovery symposium on Wednesday (Sept 22).
As of Aug 31, the number of individuals who had received treatment from the National Anti-Drug Agency (AADK) stands at 47,863.
The recovery index among those seeking treatment with the AADK is about 70%.
Hamzah said the Covid-19 pandemic did not hamper drug treatment services nor had it prevented drug addicts from accessing treatment.
“It is important for society to be made aware that drug addiction is an illness that needs to be treated,” he added.
He said that the AADK has embarked on a new initiative known as “Recovery is Possible” to prove that individuals who are addicted to drugs can be treated and that they can recover from their addiction.
“The agency has picked 30 individuals who play the role of mentors and role models to motivate those who are currently facing addiction problems to seek treatment voluntarily at facilities provided by the government,” he said.
The programme has received positive feedback, he said, and hoped that by having role models to motivate and inspire them, individuals with addiction issues would want to seek help.
On the Drug and Substance Abuse Act which will replace the Drug Dependants (Treatment and Rehabilitation) Act, Hamzah said the ministry will allocate sufficient time to engage with stakeholders before tabling the Bill in Parliament.
“We want to get comprehensive feedback from not just authorities among the stakeholders but also the views of non-governmental organisations so that the new Act, once enforced, will allow more drug and substance abusers to be given appropriate treatment and be rehabilitated,” he said.
Keywords: Home Ministry, Hamzah Zainudin, Drug Abusers, Addicts, Rehabilitation, Parliament, Funds