KUALA LUMPUR: Children as young as seven were found addicted to drugs, making them the youngest to fall under the scourge, says Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
“These children were initially given free drug-laced sweets. When they (eventually) became addicted, they were made to pay (for the drugs).
“In this regard, even though five acts were formulated in an effort to eradicate drugs with heavy penalties, including the mandatory death sentence, cases of drug trafficking and abuse still continued to proliferate in the country.
“This was due to demands from both addicts and traffickers,” he told the Dewan Negara here today.
Ahmad Zahid, who is also home minister, was replying a question by Senator Datuk Koh Chin Han who wanted to know the statistics of drug addicts, according to age and gender from 2010 to date, as well as the measures taken to overcome the drug menace.
He said that over the past six years, a total of 131,841 drug addicts were detected in the country, based on statistics issued by the National Drug Information System of the National Anti-Drug Agency (AADK).
The addicts detected between January 2010 and February this year, comprised 127,797 males and 4,044 women.
Ahmad Zahid said the AADK statistics revealed that drug abuse among individuals aged between 20 and 39, recorded the highest number at 93,044 people, followed by addicts aged 40 and above (29,355), while drug addicts aged 19 and below totalled 8,732 people.
He said the government would continue to wipe out drug addiction until the country was drug-free, in line with the declaration of 2016 as the ‘Year for All-Out War Against Drugs’.
“From 1983 to date, drug abuse is still the number one enemy of the nation,” said the deputy prime minister. – Bernama