KUALA SELANGOR: Drug addiction cases have increased by 27% in the first six months of this year to 118,820 addicts compared to 93,534 addicts reported in the same period last year.
National anti-drugs agency (AADK) director-general Sutekno Ahmad Belon said this upward trend is worrying as more than half of the cases involved youths and teenagers.
“More than 137,000 drug addicts were recorded last year and 65% of the total number involved youth and teenagers,” he told reporters after AADK’s media appreciation ceremony here last night.
Sutekno said the trend of prohibited substance abuse in the last five years also showed that the use of synthetic drugs is higher than organic drugs.
He said Perlis, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu were among the states that recorded the highest ratio of drug abuse cases per 100,000 residents, while Selangor recorded the highest number of addicts.
According to him, having too much free time was one of the main contributing factors for teenagers and youths to get involved in drugs.
“Because of that, we have launched the Anti-Drug Squad this year to ensure that activities can be implemented for youths.
“We aim to attract as many as one million members for the squad by the middle of next year. So far, we have 120,000 members,” he said.
Sutekno said AADK aimed to lower the rate of drug addiction to below 400 people out of 100,000 by 2025, compared with 426 out of 100,000 recorded last year.