Punitive policies no longer effective against drug abuse

26 Jun 2014 / 20:55 H.

    KUALA LUMPUR: Supportive policies are required to counter issues related to substance abuse as punitive policies are no longer effective, said Prof Dr Adeeba Kamarulzaman,
    The Universiti of Malaya's faculty of medicine dean said over the past three to four decades the drug abuse problem has always been treated using the criminal justice system.
    "It's time we realise it's a medical problem. Punishing them will not help them stop taking drugs," Adeeba said.
    She said arresting them is not the answer and instead the authorities need go after the "big fish" as those using the drugs are just the victims.
    Speaking to reporters after releasing the HIV & Human Rights Mitigation Report 2013 in conjunction with the United Nation's International Day against drug abuse and illicit trafficking and launching the campaign "Support. Don't Punish." yesterday, Adeeba said the current system of using punitive policies to solve the problems is a "merry-go-round that needs to be stopped".
    "Malaysia does not have a written drug policy. The policy we would like to see is a rational policy that supports."
    Meanwhile, Anti-Drug Agency principal assistant director for the treatment, medical care and rehabilitation division, Dr Sangeeth Kaur, said The Drug Act 1952 needs to be reviewed because it does not apply with substances being used today.
    Malaysia AIDS Council president Datuk Dr Raj Karim said everyone needs to be treated equally, humanely and without stigma or discrimina-tion if we are to eradicate HIV.
    She pointed out an example of discriminatory practices found within the education industry, where a student was threatened that if he did not disclose how he was infected with HIV, he would be denied his diploma certificate.
    "I hope the authorities will look at this problem with an open attitude," she said.


    thesundaily_my Sentifi Top 10 talked about stocks