KUCHING: A total of 20 One Stop Centre for Addiction (OSCA) have been set up in selected government health clinics in Sarawak to address drug and substance abuse (MIDS).
Minister for Women, Childhood and Community Wellbeing Development, Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah said her ministry also set up Recovery Community Development and Intervention Centre (CDIC) in Bau, Sibu, Dalat, Subis, Miri and the next would be in Limbang.
She said widening access to addiction treatment and recovery would help sustain a lower ratio of individuals seeking treatment and recovery among groups detected for substance abuse.
“In 2019, the ratio for Sarawak was 1:9. This means that for each person who gets formal treatment, nine persons do not. Since then, we have made progress with the current ratio of 1:7.
“This is on par with the international average reported by the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crimes (UNODC),” she said when delivering her ministerial winding-up speech at the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting on Today (Nov 30).
The One Stop Committee (OSC) for drug and substance abuse, she said, was an integrated narcotic enforcement framework, drug demand reduction and addiction recovery management.
She added that it was first of its kind in Malaysia and this had been acknowledged as exemplary, best practice and most organised model by the current director of the Bukit Aman Narcotics Investigation Department, Datuk Seri Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay, during his official visit to Sarawak in September.
“To reinforce our fight against the abuse of drugs and substance, the Sarawak government has allocated RM5.38mil in 2022, the highest allocation given by any state government, to acquire Narcotic Enabled Multi-Purpose X-Ray Baggage Scanners; Handheld Narcotic Detectors; Instant Visual Drug Detectors (IVDD); One Stop Centre for Addiction instruments; Drug Detection Dogs; and the operation of CDIC.”
Fatimah said her ministry would be organising the International Recovery Symposium (IRS) 2023 in September next year; a forum for the recovery community to celebrate their success and share drug demand reduction strategies and best practices from various parts of the world. This symposium would also witness the launch of the International Society for Substance Use Professionals (ISSUP) Malaysian Chapter.
Meanwhile, statistics from the police showed a decrease in cases of domestic violence in Sarawak between 2021 and 2022. For the period from January to October 2022, there were 486 cases compared to 630 cases in the same period last year.
“This year, 368 (76%) were drug-related cases compared to 512 cases (81%) last year. This is an encouraging result (decrease) and we will intensify our efforts to deal with drug and substance issues.”
“As for cybercrime, a total of 4,266 cases were reported in Sarawak from January 2020 to October 2022, which involved losses of RM97.59mil.”
Fatimah said the victims were from various backgrounds and positions, had fallen prey to various scams such as Love Scam, Macau Scam, credit card fraud, e-banking fraud.