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Concerted effort to combat drugs

  • Combating drugs is a real tough challenge. It requires the coordination and input from the government and other relevant parties. Photo courtesy: Sin Chew Daily

Sin Chew Daily

Deputy prime minister cum home minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi admitted that the government's effort to prevent and battle drugs had failed, as evidenced by the numbers.

There were 26,668 reported drug abuse cases in 2015, rising by 14% to 30,847 cases the following year, while the number of new drug addicts increased from 20,281 to 22,925 during the same period.

We can conclude that despite the government's numerous efforts and resources, the effects have been rather disappointing, as more Malaysians fall prey to the scourge of narcotics.

Drug abuse is more than a personal issue as it will have powerful negative implications on the family as well as the society and nation. The increased incidence of crime and moral depravity as a result of torn families will have a strong impact on the society, affecting not only social harmony but also the overall economic development and social security.

Statistics show that 58% of inmates at prisons nationwide are put behind bars for drug-related offenses, and this is enough to prove the strong correlation between drugs and crime. If we do not seriously address the issue of drug abuse, it will be difficult for us to remarkably improve the overall safety of our society.

The government has indeed warned the public of the perils of drugs and has taken the necessary measures to stop drug abuse. Unfortunately such efforts have not paid off.

The confession by the government of its failure in fighting drugs should serve as an opportunity for us to start afresh and review our deficiencies in order to identify the root causes and adopt more targeted solutions to weed out this perennial problem.

The government needs to find out why the national anti-narcotics agency, the national drug abuse prevention association and other relevant authorities have failed to combat drugs. Could it be due to inadequate funding, poor operational efficiency or simply structural flaws in these institutions?

We cannot depend on one or two government agencies to fully weed out the drug problem. This is actually a very complicated social problem that warrants the concerted effort of all parties. The enforcement agencies must strive to stop the flow of narcotics into the market and stamp all drug trafficking and dealing activities.

In addition, the government must also educate the public of the dangers of drugs and prevent the public from falling into the trap.

Meanwhile, the relevant authorities must also institute more effective and comprehensive rehabilitation programs to help drug addicts adapt to the new life.

Of course, the community and family also play a crucial role in fighting drugs, especially in helping drug addicts kick the habit. The support from the community and family is particularly important to bring former addicts back to the society.

Combating drugs is a real tough challenge. It requires the coordination and input from the government and all other relevant parties.

We must pick up a lesson from our past failures, integrate our resources and readjust our existing strategies in order to combat drugs more effectively.

 

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