Wednesday, April 5, 2006

Close To 20 Percent Start Taking Drugs While At Primary School.

A Special Report by Adibah Ismail

KUALA LUMPUR, March 30 (Bernama) -- The National Anti-Drugs Agency (AADK) has revealed a shocking finding in its January statistics -- it detected 2,196 addicts nationwide including 388 who are aged below 13.

This represents 17.7 percent of addicts who got hooked on drugs during their primary school years.

The rest of the report issued by AADK shows that 432 people took up the habit at the age between 20 and 24 years old, 272 (25-29) and 164 (30-34).

Surprisingly, there are also two people who became addicts at the age of 55-60.

On the number of addicts detected, two are aged 13 and 15 years old, 433 are aged between 25 and 29 years old, 391 (30 to 34), and two "veterans" (above 60 years old).

RACIAL BREAKDOWN

The racial breakdown is equally shocking.

Malays make the highest number at 1,626 followed by Chinese (306), Indians (210), Sabah and Sarawak Bumiputera (each at 17), foreigners (12) and others (eight).

A total of 930 cases are new addicts while 1,266 are repeat offenders.

For both categories, Kedah is the state with the highest tally at 225 and 416 cases respectively, making it 641 drug addicts detected in January.

Kelantan comes second with 374 addicts comprising 221 new ones and 153 repeat cases.

From the 2,196 addicts, 2,160 are men with the rest (36) are from the opposite gender.

REASONS FOR ADDICTION

Peer influence is the main cause that made 763 people to be hooked on drugs while the inquisitive or "experimenting" nature has landed 342 people with the habit.

The other causative factors for addiction are "taking a joy ride" (137 people), stress (52), stimulus (four), pain-killing (three), accidental (one) and unknown reasons (886).

In terms of academic qualification, 641 of the addicts have Sijil Rendah Pelajaran (SRP), 431 Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) while 279 have only primary school education.

No academic information are recorded for the other 755 addicts.

Under the employment category, 291 addicts are labourers, 240 work in the construction sector, 210 in the sales line and 185 are jobless. Fourteen are students, seven are employed in the entertainment industry and two are clerks.

Among the drugs favoured by the addicts are morphine, heroin, opium, metamphetamine or syabu, psychotropic pills, amphetamine (41) and ecstasy.

"CHASE THE DRAGON"

In terms of methods, the "chase" way of inhaling fumes via a straw of drugs heated using a spoon tops the list.

This method draws 1,648 addicts -- morphine (819), heroin (603) and metamphetamine (226).

A total of 289 addicts smoke cannabis while 137 use hypodermic needles, 132 for morphine and five (heroin).

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