KUCHING: Sarawak is at the bottom three states for drug abuse nationwide, said Tourism, Art, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.
However, in recent years, there had been a shift in trend on drug usage from traditional to synthetic drugs.
Although Sarawak is ranked among the lowest in drugs usage compared to other states in the country, Abdul Karim is concerned with the increase in usage of synthetic drugs namely amphetamine and methamphetamine.
“There seems to be a trend on the spread of such drugs (synthetic) in both urban and rural areas,” he said when chairing the state Drug Enforcement Action Council meeting at the Urban Transformation Centre (UTC) here, yesterday.
Abdul Karim who is also Malaysian Drug Prevention Association (Pemadam) Sarawak chairman said it was crucial for the whole community and relevant authorities involved to take proactive measures to combat drug abuse.
“That is the reason why the government sees drug abuse as a serious problem. Social issues can also arise which initially are related to drug addiction.
“Those who are dependent on drugs would commit crime (theft) to pay for their addiction,” the Asajaya assemblyman said.
Meanwhile, according to a statement from the National Anti-Drug Agency (AADK) there has been a decline in drug abuse cases among students in the state.
From January to last June, Sarawak recorded a drop of 11 students compared to 291 students in the same period last year.
In May and June, the Police and Royal Customs Department seized drugs worth RM1.26 million delivered via courier services.
Also present were AADK deputy director (Operations) Datuk Izhar Abu Talib, state AADK director Wan Madhu Wan Salleh and other senior officials.