JOHOR BARU, Dec 1 — The National Anti-Drug Agency (NADA) wants more drug addicts to come for voluntary treatment at rehabilitation treatment centres nationwide, citing the fact that most were their family’s sole breadwinner as the main reason for the low turnout.
Its director-general Datuk Seri Zulkifli Abdullah said currently only 19 per cent of drug addicts nationwide receive treatment at the Narcotics Addiction Rehabilitation Centres on a voluntary basis.
He said the loss of a family’s main source of income was one of the main reasons not many drug abusers seek voluntary treatment at the rehabilitation centres under NADA’s management.
“Sometimes, they are the main financial contributors to the family, the head of the family or children and so on. So if they go in for voluntary treatment, their family will have no financial support.
“They feel that if they surrender, their families will be neglected and no one will assist them,” said Zulkifli during a press conference after officiating the Johor Baru North district police headquarters here today.
Present was Johor deputy police chief Datuk Khaw Kok Chin, Bukit Aman Narcotics Criminal Investigation Department (NCID) deputy director Datuk Kamarulzaman Mamat and Johor Baru Utara district police chief Assistant Commissioner Rupiah Abd Wahid.
Zulkifli added that due to their refusal to present themselves voluntarily, NADA had to arrest those involved.
He explained that when a person has been arrested and undergoes rehabilitation treatment, NADA will apply for other departments to help their families, especially those involving sole breadwinners involved in drug addiction.
“There are several non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that reach out to assist the addicts’ wives by making cakes for sale so that the family has a source of income, while the husband seeks treatment,” he said.
Zulkifli said NADA’s target was for about 30 per cent of drug addicts to seek voluntary treatment by next year, with hopes of increasing that figure to 50 per cent the following year.
He said the agency will also improve the legal aspects for the Drug Addicts (Treatment and Rehabilitation) Act 1983 to be amended.
“It will allow individuals who undergo voluntary rehabilitation treatment at a rehabilitation centre to have a flexible period and not be subject to supervision after completing treatment and rehabilitation.
“So far, NADA has 31 rehabilitation centres nationwide and 11 of them are rehabilitation centres that provide services for voluntary cases,” said Zulkifli, adding that the sole voluntary rehabilitation centre in Seri Iskandar in Perak is reserved for those who work and study at institutes of higher learning.