AADK Sarawak Assistant Officer Iskanda Ismail giving a talk at the Session 3 Bau District Community Policing Programme 2020. Photo: Ramidi Subari

KUCHING: Community support is the only way to ensure reformed drug addicts stay clean, said National Anti-Drugs Agency assistant officer here, Ibrahim Ismail.

“We must educate the community on the importance of giving support to these repentant drug addicts.

“If the community and all parties work hand-in-hand, it is not impossible to control drug abuse.

“Addicts are like patients. We should see them as friends who are sick and need help. We, the community, should help them so that more of them will come forward to be rehabilitated.

“When society shuns them and they can’t find jobs, they may have a relapse and become addicted again.

“To help them stay clean, the community and their families must show their support so that they can be able to gain back their self-esteem after rehabilitation,” he told New Sarawak Tribune at the closing ceremony of the third series of the Community Policing on Tuesday (Oct 27).

Asked whether decriminalising drugs could help address the problem, Ibrahim said such an approach had its pros and cons.

“On the bright side, it will encourage former addicts to stay clean and change themselves for better.

“However, it might not applicable for everyone. Some may get a relapse,” he said.