3.2 million families live in high-risk drug abuse areas

Deputy Home Minister Azis Jamman says the government will consider developing safe surroundings when planning housing areas.

PUTRAJAYA: As many as 3.2 million families live in high-risk drug abuse areas throughout the country, said Deputy Home Minister Azis Jamman.

He said the living conditions there contributed to the risk of drug abuse.

Speaking at the launch of the 2019 National Anti-Drugs Month, Azis said in future, the government would consider developing safe surroundings when planning housing areas in urban and rural areas.

“A residential area which is planned and safe would meet the needs of the local people.

“The trend of drug use has changed, from drugs which are plant-based, such as cannabis and heroin, to synthetic drugs such as syabu and ecstasy and psychotropic pills,” he said.

He added that the increase in the use of methamphetamine and new psychoactive substances (NPS) was now the main contributors to the problem of drug abuse.

As of December 2017, NPS abuse had been reported in 111 countries, he said.

“According to Azis, last year, syabu and ecstasy pills were the drugs most consumed, followed by heroin,” he said.

He added that the value of confiscated drugs last year was RM 516.323 million, increasing from RM292.221 million the year before.

Earlier, Azis flagged off 2,500 participants of the Putrajaya Fun Ride Bicycling Against Drugs 2019 event covering 10km (VIP) and 33km (public) from the Palace of Justice here.

The National Anti-Drugs Month, which is celebrated every February, is aimed at reminding the public that drugs remain a major threat to the nation and health.