Saturday, July 20

Synthetic drugs abuse on the rise, worrying, says minister

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KUCHING: Abusing synthetic drugs which are produced by mixing chemical substances such as syabu and amphetamine is on the rise among Sarawakian youths.

Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said it is a worrying trend as the side effects of the drugs, besides addiction, would include aggrasiveness and mental problems.

“Social problems such as theft are also likely to occur as the drug users would need money to buy the drugs,” Abdul Karim told a press conference after chairing a meeting of Sarawak-level drug eradiction action council yesterday.

On another note, he said the National Anti-Drug Agency (AADK) would work closely with the state Education Department to conduct periodic operations to eradicate drug abuse among students.

In 2018, the number of drug-positive students were 291, but declined to 280 in 2019.

He said the drop was due to the constant drug awareness programmes conducted by AADK in schools.

“The agency is also closely monitoring former drug users to ensure they will not relapse,” said Abdul Karim who is also Asajaya assemblyman.

Besides AADK, the Ministry of Welfare, Community Well Being, Women, Family and Childhood Development; Social Development Council and other relevant government agencies have formed the One-Stop Committee (OSC)  to chart and implement intervention plans on drug and substance abuse.

AADK deputy director (Operations) Datuk Izhar Abu Talib was also present at the meeting.