Kuching contributes to high number of drug arrests

Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah

KUCHING: The district of Kuching continues to have the highest number of arrests involving drugs and substance abuse based on mapping carried out by the One-Stop Committee to address drugs and substance abuse (OSC MIDS).

Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development (KKWPK) Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah said of the 3,616 arrests recorded since January this year, Kuching recorded 1,003 people.

This was followed by Bintulu with 392 arrests, Samarahan (292), Sibu (269) and Miri (266).

She revealed this during a virtual press conference for  on Thursday (June 17).

“I would like to once again urge everyone to cooperate and work together in eradicating the activities relating to drugs and substance abuse in Sarawak. Prevention is most certainly better than cure.

“This is why I have been urging and advising the community in Sarawak to stay away as well as protect themselves from drugs and substance abuse. Once one is trapped, it is very challenging to recover.”

Fatimah disclosed that 2,246 people undergoing treatment and rehabilitation were recorded in May.

She said the current recovery rate in Sarawak was one to eight (1:8), meaning for every individual who received treatment and rehabilitation, there were eight others who did not show up to ensure that they remain sober or recovered.

“To ensure that this group of people are not trapped from continuous use of drugs and substances, MIDS focuses on intervention action in terms of treatment and rehabilitation.

“Of the total recorded for May, 116 are undergoing rehabilitation at the Kuching Drug Rehabilitation Centre (Puspen) while the other 2,130 are in the community namely 2,009 People Under Supervision (OKP) at Cure and Cure, seven at One Stop Centre Addiction and 87 at non-governmental organisation (NGO) centres.”

Fatimah said there were 63 programmes for prevention and awareness conducted by OSC MIDS at the respective districts’ workplace, education institution and within the community.

“MIDS also stressed on prevention actions through awareness and advocacy programmes as well as screenings in the form of evidence based at the education institution, workplace, within the community and families.

“To increase the access to treatment and rehabilitation for the group of people who are involved in drug and substance abuse, the state’s OSC MIDS is expanding the services of the One Stop Centre for Addiction at seven selected health clinics and districts in Lawas, Limbang, Subis, Betong, Bau, Bintulu and Sibu.

“Moreover, the Community Development and Intervention (CDIC), which functions as a community caring house, is currently being implemented as a pilot project in the district of Bau by the district’s OSC MIDS.”

The CDIC would allow those affected by drugs and substance abuse to meet with the district’s OSC MIDS members, NGOs, MIDS bureau area’s penghulu and volunteers for treatment and rehabilitation intervention activities in an integrated, continuous group as well as address the recovery capital.