There are countless addicts in our society trying to recover from their dependency of drugs. Various initiatives that cost millions of money have been spent in helping them to recover and get back to their beloved ones. Some succeeded but there were still some that still went back to their old habits when they finished these programs. Despite every effort that has been done, the effectiveness stills being questions? Did the fault fall on wrongly planned initiatives or there is simply nothing that could be done to help these drug addicts?
One of the measures taken that have been showing promising results is the Methadone Maintenance Therapy that has been launched by the Ministry of Health Malaysia. Entering its seventh years, it has been proven to help overcome the drug addiction problems in Malaysia. The program’s main objective is to curb the spread of HIV and other diseases that can be transferred through the drug addicts’ habit of sharing hypodermic needle. In other words, it does not directly help to stop the dependency towards drugs but leads the drug addicts towards a safer lifestyle.
Methadone Clinics exists in almost every state and district in Malaysia. Aside from these special clinics, Agensi Anti Dadah Kebangsaan (AADK) under the Ministry of Internal Affairs had established scores of Cure & Care (C&C) centers that offer the same rehabilitation programmed using methadone. Public still questioning the effectiveness of this effort, but most participants seem to be able to get rid of their obsession and started a new life. One thing for sure, the national crime rate had decreased, the amount of HIV/AIDS patients dwindled and some of the former drug abuser even contributed back to the society in volunteering activities like awareness campaign against drugs.
Other than that, in line with the government’s reducing our dependency towards foreign labors, Agensi Anti Dadah Kebangsaan (AADK) has launched a scheme to equip the former drug addicts with various skills to satisfy the demand of workforce in the nation. In order to achieve this target, the agency has built the Cure & Care Vocational Centre (CCVC) that offers various short and long term courses for former drug addicts in Sepang, Selangor.
Former drug abuser that wishes to enter the course in order to possess the necessary skills for job-hunting or setting up a business can apply for a place in the CCVC that has been operational since January 2012. All the classes are offered for free and being taught by teaching staffs from the Pusat Giat Mara and Construction Industry Development Board Malaysia (CIDB). Further information can be acquired from the agency’s website at www.adk.gov.my.
Nevertheless, addressing the drug addiction problem in our nation requires an all-rounded effort not just from the government, but also from all components of the society. Therefore, the role played by various non-governmental organizations (NGO) in tackling this problem is vital. One of the remarkable NGO that has been consistent ever since its establishment in 1993 is PENGASIH Malaysia. Started as Self-Help Group between four friends who had just kicked their drugging habit, they found the need to register as an organization as drug-related issues in Malaysia became chronic. Wholly operated by former drug-users, it offers a treatment based on the concept of “Peer Recovery Guidance” that stresses on restructuring of thinking patterns, emotional management and stability, behavioural changes, spiritual awakening and re-integration into society.
Other than the treatment programs, PENGASIH Malaysia offers ‘Teduhan Kasih’, a halfway house for former users who have just completed their rehab in any institution.Most former users lacks of confidence to re-enter mainstream life. Teduhan Kasih provides the much needed psychological support through self-help groups in the premises. In addition, another activity offered by Teduhan Kasih is job placements. They seek employments for former drug abuser in factories, trading houses and workshops. More details about PENGASIH Malaysia can be found at www.pengasih.net.
Another NGO that has been actively involved in helping former drug addicts getting back on their feet is Drugs intervention Community Pahang (DiCP). It is a registered non-profitable agency that consists of ex-drug addicts / former drug addicts with positive HIV/AIDS. All the NGO’s activities are operated by them with the aim of solving drug addiction and HIV / AIDS problems. They can be found online at www.dicpahang.org.
The truth is, they have chosen the wrong path, broken the hearts of beloved ones and some have may even threaten our lives. However, most of them are trying to turn over to new leaf for the sake of their families and relatives. Consequently, their effort in turning over a new page will directly help to avoid the new generation from getting involved in drugs related problems. Therefore, we as the members of the society have to support all the programs planned for them through providing every opportunity and support towards former drug addicts to step up into a better new world. We have to accept them into our lives and stop labeling them with any inappropriate names that may weaken their resolve to change for the better.
|Last Review||:||26 March 2014|
|Writer||:||Juliana Ikhzawati bt Mohamed Lazim|