JOHOR BARU, Oct 8 — The price being as low as RM5 a pill is reason enough for many school and university students to be lured into taking psychotropic drugs over heroin and cocaine.
Home Deputy Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said the high price of cocaine, heroin and ganja was beyond the budget of students.
“(Thus) They turn to psychotropic drugs which are available for as low as RM5 each,” he told reporters after launching the 43rd Peninsula Malaysia Penggawa Headman Union annual delegates conference at the Persada International Convention Centre here today.
He said psychotropic drugs were modern drugs of the Amphetamine Type Stimulant (ATS) and New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) types comprising ecstacy, amphetamine and others which could alter the functioning of the brain and cause mood, awareness and behavioural changes.
Nur Jazlan added it was also difficult to treat a person who was addicted to such drugs as compared to addiction to cocaine, heroin and ganja.
“Normally, ATS drugs are used by secondary school and university students to prepare for their examination at the last minute. So, they take such drugs so that they can stick it out when cramming up on their revision.”
Nur Jazlan said based on data in 2015, a total of 1,475 school students were found to be involved in taking drugs related to ATS (73 per cent), cannabis (19.2 per cent) and other drugs (eight per cent).
As such, he said the ministry was seeking to arrange activities with numerous quarters including the National Anti-Drugs Agency and Peninsula Malaysia Penggawa Headman Union to eradicate the problems including identifying hot spots for drug addition nationwide.
“Currently, they are focusing on fishermen’s settlements such as in Kedah, Perlis and Kelantan. Other areas which will be focused upon are low-cost flats nationwide, especially in the Klang Valley and Felda areas such as in Pahang,” said Nur Jazlan, who is also Drug Prevention Association of Malaysia (Pemadam) president. — Bernama