KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 25 — Cases of substance abuse in Malaysia have decreased by more than 30 per cent between 2015 and 2021, according to the public data from the National Anti-Drugs Agency (AADK).
The data of cases AADK handled since 2015 made available at the open data portal data.gov.my showed that after rising slightly in 2016 to 30,844 cases, the number has been on a falling trend, reaching a seven-year low in the last year of public data in 2021 (18,205).
The data also provided a more in-depth insight into substance abuse in Malaysia: crystal methamphetamine — also known by street names such as “ice” or “shabu” — made up the bulk of the substance, with over 11,000 users handled by AADK.
This was followed by amphetamine-type stimulants, which include “speed”, “pil kuda” or “yaba”, and MDMA, which are also known as ecstasy or “molly” (4,166 users).
Rounding up the list were heroin and morphine (2,756), and methamphetamine pills (1,078). There were only 540 cases of marijuana users handled by AADK.
The data also showed that the cases were predominantly male (94.9 per cent) and of Bumiputera descent (87.5 per cent).
Most of them (4,683) were also above 40 years of age, followed by those in the 25 to 29 age range (3,594). By education level, most had only graduated from secondary (13,714) and primary schools (1,765).
In 2020, AADK director-general Datuk Seri Zulkifli Abdullah said only 19 per cent of those with drug addiction nationwide received treatment, citing the fact that most were their family’s sole breadwinner as the main reason for the low turnout. — Picture by Farhan Najib
On its website, AADK has identified 155 high-risk areas of substance abuse nationwide, with Johor topping the list with 17 areas, followed by Kelantan and Terengganu (15 each).
In 2020, AADK director-general Datuk Seri Zulkifli Abdullah said only 19 per cent of those with drug addiction nationwide received treatment, citing the fact that most were their family’s sole breadwinner as the main reason for the low turnout.
Zulkifli added that due to their refusal to present themselves voluntarily, AADK had to arrest those involved.
Last week however, a much different set of statistics was offered by AADK, which said substance abuse cases in the country have increased by 27 per cent in the first six months of this year to 118,820 cases, compared with 93,534 cases reported in the same period last year.
Its current director-general Sutekno Ahmad Belon said this upward trend is worrying as more than half of the number involved youths and teenagers. Again, the statistics differs from the one made available in data.gov.my.
Sutekno also disclosed that Perlis, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu were among the states that recorded the highest ratio per 100,000 residents involved in the problem of abuse, while Selangor recorded the highest number of abusers.