PETALING JAYA: The government today admitted that there had been no reduction in the number of drug addicts despite various programmes in place for the past four decades.
Home minister Hamzah Zainudin said this was why a new approach was needed to tackle the problem in the country, Bernama reported.
He said this at the launch of the home ministry’s new mobile recovery treatment (MRT) service under the National Anti-Drugs Agency (AADK) drug addiction treatment and rehabilitation programme.
Hamzah said previously, AADK used to wait for those involved in drug addiction to come forward and seek treatment.
But this time around, he added, the agency will approach them as this was a more flexible way of handling drug addicts according to their needs.
“This is different from the previous programmes. We have been treating drug addiction for the past 40 years, but there seems to be no reduction (in the number of drug addicts),” he told reporters at the AADK headquarters in Kajang today.
He said the service would be provided to specialised groups facing constraints in seeking treatment and rehabilitation at AADK facilities.
According to Bernama, Hamzah said the MRT service would be implemented at 14 state AADK offices nationwide.
So far, two such teams, comprising eight officers, had been formed in each state.
Hamzah said 110 officers, including those from overseas, had been identified to be part of the MRT team to help reduce the number of drug addicts in the country.
A pilot project for the MRT service was implemented in 2021 and it received a good response from those involved, he added.