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Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Anti-drugs chief: 55% of drug addicts in Malaysia successfully rehabilitated



National Anti-Drugs Agency (AADK) director-general Datuk Seri Zulkifli Abdullah. – Bernama
LANGKAWI: A total of 55% of drug addicts in the country have been successfully rehabilitated, says Datuk Seri Zulkifli Abdullah.
Dismissing the notions of certain parties that efforts on the war on drugs in the country was ineffective, the National Anti-Drugs Agency (AADK) director-general said the success rate was in line with international standards of between 40% and 60%.
"I don't agree that our efforts are not effective. No country has reached a 90% successful rehabilitation rate. Drug abuse is a chronic problem and those involved are prone to relapse.
"However, we must revamp certain approaches so that it suits current needs and situations, " he told a press conference after attending the meeting on the pioneer project on curbing drug abuse and social ills on Wednesday (July 31).

This year, the agency has targeted a 65% rehabilitation rate, he added.

"We need the cooperation of other agencies and NGOs to successfully curb the drug problem.
"We are always open to suggestions from others, " he said.
On another matter, he said that eight secondary school students in Langkawi were among the 141 who tested positive for drugs this year.
Zulkifli said the eight boys, who were in Form Four and Form Five, tested positive for opiate type of drugs.
"We do not want the number of students involved in drugs to increase and are working closely with the Education Department on various efforts, including urine tests for Form Four and Form Five students who at high risk of being involved in drug abuse, " he told a press conference after launching a pioneer project on curbing drug abuse and social ills here on Wednesday (July 31).
AADK also conducts counselling sessions for students who are involved in drugs to prevent them from relapsing, he added.
On the pioneer project, Zulkifli said there would be a synergy created among the agencies and departments involved in curbing the drug problem.
"The project has been conducted at 12 high-risk areas since early July. Action will be taken cohesively to ensure the success of the programme, " he said.
Cooperation between the agencies involved is important to ensure that the recent "cleaning up" operation on Langkawi Island is not temporary, he added.
"We must discover the root of the problem. We are also looking at social ills as well as activities that might cause individuals to be involved in drug abuse, " he said.
Among the 12 high-risk areas are the Sungai Bunus People's Housing Project in Kuala Lumpur, Felda Lubuk Merbau, Kuala Kedah and Langkawi in Kedah, along with Sungai Besar and Felda Gugusan Hulu Selangor in Selangor.
Zulkifli said the agency was also showing videos on the dangers of drug abuse and efforts to prevent it to ferry passengers in Langkawi as part of the pilot project.- Star

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