KUALA SELANGOR – Drug addiction cases in this country have increased by 27 per cent in the first six months of this year to 118,820 addicts compared with 93,534 addicts reported in the same period last year.
The National Anti-Drug Agency (AADK) director-general Sutekno Ahmad Belon said this upward trend is worrying as more than half of the number involved youths and teenagers.
“More than 137,000 drug addicts were recorded last year and 65 per cent of the total number involved youth and teenagers,” he told reporters after the AADK Media Appreciation Ceremony, here last night.
He said that based on the trend of prohibited substance abuse in the last five years, the use of synthetic drugs is seen to be higher than organic drugs.
Sutekno also disclosed that Perlis, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu were among the states that recorded the highest ratio per 100,000 residents involved in the problem of abuse, while Selangor recorded the highest number of addicts.
He said having too much free time without doing any activities was one of the main contributing factors for teenagers and youths to get involved in the drug menace.
“Because of that, we have launched the Anti-Drug Squad this year to ensure that the youth have beneficial activities that can be implemented.
“We aim to attract as many as one million members of the Anti-Drug Squad by the middle of next year and thus far, we have 120,000 members,” he said.
Apart from that, the agency, through various efforts implemented, also aims for the rate of drug addiction to be below 400 people out of 100,000 residents in the country by 2025, compared with 426 people out of 100,000 residents recorded last year.
Sutekno also advised parents not to hide family members affected by drug addiction and to come to AADK for treatment.
“Prevention is better than cure and it needs to start at home and the family should protect their children,” he said. – Bernama