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BANGI, April 30 — A total of 85,575 people aged between 19 and 39 were among 116,206 drug-addicts detected by the National Anti-Drug Agency (AADK) over a five-year period since 2014, said Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
He said most of them were youths, and if not curbed, would result in the country losing the young workforce.
“They (youths) should be the ones who are productive in developing the country, not involved in social problems due to drug-addiction,” he said when opening a science symposium on drug addiction at Dewan Seri Akasia, AADK headquarters here today.
Also present were Home Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Alwi Ibrahim and AADK director-general Datuk Seri Zulkifli Abdullah.
Muhyiddin said the trend on the type of drugs commonly abused in the country is consistent with other countries.
“From January to December last year, methamphetamine such as syabu and ecstasy pills were the most abused, at 61.9 per cent compared to other types of drugs, followed by heroin, at 23.3 per cent.
“However, in 2017, heroin was the most used,” he added.
Muhyiddin said the role of family members was vital to prevent drug abuse among the young people.
He said among efforts to combat the drug menace was to maintain the People Under Supervision (OKP) in the community programme.
Based on AADK’s assessment, he said, the number of relapsed drug addicts who were rehabilitated after going through the OKP programme for two years, was 8,449 people, or 55 per cent of the total of 15,249 addicts.
“This exceeds the target of 40 per cent set by the ministry last year,” he added
Muhyiddin said a total of 4,654 people were released from drug rehabilitation centres last year and expressed the need for the public to accept them back in the society.
Community support is important to make them feel accepted so that they would not feel isolated, hence returned to their old habit, he added. — Bernama