PETALING JAYA, March 3 — They were seven-year-olds shouting and playing.
They didn’t care about time. They were special, taking a different path through life until they were exposed to drugs.
Today, the boys from Sabah, aged eight and nine, are recovering from their shameful tag as Malaysia’s youngest drug addicts.
Malay Mail yesterday was given an insight into how the boys became hooked after Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi made public their shocking involvement in the murky world of drugs on Saturday
“Drug abuse remains a major problem with some of the latest addicts being as young as seven, hooked on drugs since last year. This is certainly worrying,” he said at the national level Anti-Dadah Day, also on Saturday.
National Anti-Drugs Agency (AADK) director-general Datuk Suhaimi Abdullah told Malay Mail the boys became hooked on glue sniffing after they were encouraged to experiment with solvents by their wayward older peers.
Suhaimi said the duo, from Papar and Keningau, indulged in drugs for few months before their parents found out and voluntarily handed them to the AADK cure and care centre in 2013 and last year, respectively.
They are now back in school after three months of counselling, but the boys are still monitored by the cure and care rehabilitation centre.
“This is worrying. Here, we are trying to overcome teenage involvement but now we have such young kids,” said Suhaimi.
“Many people hold the perception that glue sniffing is not dangerous compared to other drugs.
“Parents also think they can just stop it without seeking help from the right platform.
“They are wrong. In fact, glue sniffing is more dangerous than heroin and ganja.
“Glue sniffing cuts off oxygen to your brain.
“It can just blow up your brain and kill every single brain cell,” he said, adding it was even more dangerous to a young child’s brain.
In another stunning revelation, Education director-general Datuk Seri Dr Khair Mohamad Yusof said that 1,416 out of 48,000 students tested positive for drugs during random checks last year.