Drug Abuse In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
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Drug abuse is a cause of concern to all nations around the world either in developing countries and undeveloped countries and in both cases the most affected are the youth,. Due to the rapid increase in drug related crime and drug abusers in Asian countries, the establishment of effective countermeasures for demand and supply reduction are a pressing issue. And if they are all left out to be addicted to dangerous narcotics, it can lead to all social ills like road accidents, high crime rates, unplanned pregnancies, school dropouts and many more which may result in fracturing the moral fibre of the country and eventually the nation will be without prominent future leaders. The abuse of drugs has an adverse impact, not only on the individual abuser, but also on the economy and society of a country as a whole.
According to Scorzelli JF, (2009) despite the heavy punishment of death imposed by the Malaysian government for whoever is caught in drug possession, within the last five years, the Malaysian drug abuse problem has escalated. This has led to the increase in social ills like HIV/AIDS which is contracted by the use of IV-Heroin. He continued to state that 93.7% of people caught in drug possession are male aged between 20-29 years of age. This clearly shows that our youth are in dire need of thorough drug and peer education.
The National Anti-Drug Agency has been on track to get rid of the drug problem in Malaysia by 2015. When interviewed by the New Straits Times (2010, February) the director-general Datuk Abdul Bakir Zin has pointed out that they have helped out around the country to bring addicts to their rehabilitation centre. He has said that the centre spends around RM 300 million which is their annual budget which is nearly spent on prevention, treatment, rehabilitation of addicts and enforcement operations. Addicts are kept for two years and they are released but some of them go back to their bad habits.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Drug abuse has led to an alarming increase of social ills in the society like HIV/AIDS contraction , road accidents and many more which have resulted in the collapse of the moral fibre of the nation. The medical and psychological effects are very obvious. Addicts cannot function as normal members of society. They neglect or abuse their families, and eventually require expensive treatment or hospitalization. Huge police resources are needed to fight smuggling and dealing. Criminal gangs and mafia underworlds develop with the money from drugs. However the main target should be the user. Families and counsellors need to talk to children and people at risk. The fact that the youth is the most affected especially in Malaysia poses a great concern because the youth are "the future leaders of tomorrow".
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The specific study of the study is to find ways and methods to educate the people of Malaysia especially the youth about the dangers posed by the abuse of drugs. This initiative itself can lead to positive results such as reduced number of drug abusers therefore leading to a low numbers of social ills such as HIV contractions and crime. There should be a diversion programme for drug abusers which can be institutional or community based.
To justify this study, the researcher will investigate the following matters:
How many cases of illicit drugs were registered from 2006 to 2011 in Malaysia
How individuals are affected psychologically, physically and economically by the abuse of drugs
Does government play a role in reducing the problem of drug abuse
SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
Generally the study of drug abuse phenomenon that is widely occurring in Malaysia will be an endeavour in promoting a much healthy lifestyle that is a drug -free society. Drug-free society means a lot to a country of about 28,310,000 people. It means less crime such as road accidents, thefts and murders, less HIV & AIDS positive, less people in the narcotics rehabilitations centre and more manpower in order to bring Malaysia towards becoming a fully developed country. By understanding the main source of the problems, we can all move together to cure as well as to prevent further advance of this spreading illness in our community.
The Malaysian psychiatric association (July 6 2006) has cited that when pregnant women abuse drugs there may be foetal abnormalities especially when the pregnancy is early. These deformities may cause the mother to dump the baby, a crime which is currently on the rise in Malaysia. If the drug was used late in the pregnancy may become dependent on opiates, and may later show withdrawal symptoms after delivery.
The United Nations Aids (2010) on their report have pointed out that an estimated 170,000 injecting drug users (IDUs). In those users most of them share the needles therefore there is increased spread of the diseases such as HIV/AIDS because likely they do not sterilise such needles.
Moreover, this study will reveal most of things behind these drug abuse cases, therefore will significantly boost the awareness of the community about the cases of drug abuse in this country simultaneously contribute in reducing such cases in community.
SCOPE OF THE REPORT
We undertook the task of reviewing all studies describing the impact of drug abuse at Kuala Lumpur. The population of interest includes injection drug users, and non-injection drug users of heroin, cocaine and marijuana, because these groups of individuals have been identified as having a biological risk of exposure to addictive drug use, including deadly exposure (via injection drug use) to blood-borne via sharing of straws or pipes used to administer drugs (non-injection drug use). Data from questionnaires are analyzed separately, as they different substantially form interview data, and because their drug-related risk factors are quite different and not elaborated further.
Another goal is to examine the influence of study methodology on study findings, particularly because the descriptive data may be strongly influenced by sampling methods, and because study design may affect associations between various characteristics and drug use. Since the brand data collection was carried out using information collected from various associations, access to each data was time consuming. We also do not have any compiled data of approved unregistered drug users making the task very complicated. Such database may be hard to acquire as most drug users choose to stay in the dark as they know there is a capital punishment for such a crime.
Drugs -A medicine or other substance which has a physiological effect when ingested or otherwise introduced into the body
Abuse- To use something to bad effect or for a bad purpose
Addict-A person who is addicted to a particular substance
Rehabilitation- Restore to former privileges
CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW
In the literature review we compare and contrast studies done by other people and we note how different they are from ours. We have read journals, books and articles in Science Direct. In this chapter we are able to expand our knowledge on how other writers view the issue at hand. We have displayed various ways of the data we found, either by citing using the APA format, images and tables.
2.1 Literature Review
By the year 1983, the problem of drugs was declared a national emergency by the Malaysian government. Everyone convicted of trafficking and those caught with the drugs depending on the amount of drugs they had in their possession were sentenced to death, those were some of the ways the government was trying to solve the problem but if someone was convicted of only for possession of drugs he/she was put in a rehabilitation centre for 2 years. Once realised from the centre, the individual has one year of probation were he or she has two urine tests a month.
Drug, taken from Cambridge Dictionaries Online, falls into two categories which are medicine and illegal substance. In the medicine category, the word drug means any natural or artificially made chemical which is used as a medicine while in the category of illegal substance, drug means any natural or artificially made chemical which is taken for pleasure, to improve someone's performance of an activity, or because a person cannot stop using it. The latter meanings actually portraying the main interest in this study which is the action of drug abuse, which by the same source, abuse means to use or treat someone or something wrongly or badly, especially in a way that is to your own advantage.
This unhealthy phenomenon is actually a worldwide crisis and can bring along a great impact in one's life, consequently a community, and then will affect the growth of a country. Some said that this crisis is the same age as humankind. It is in our nature that we like to consume things that bring us pleasure and being in the state of euphoria. However, we must first consider the side effects of the consumption of such substances. There was enormous number of researches that had been carried out in order to suppress or banish this crisis all over the world. There are ups and downs for the trends of the drug abuse cases but it had never been ceased completely.
Kuala Lumpur as a busy place, most of the inhabitants need drugs to cope with the fast life. These drugs can be addictive substances such as heroine, alcohol, and ecstasy pills. The research by the Malaysian Psychiatric Association (2006), showed that the brain is affected by the consumed drugs. The left part of the brain is affected is called the reward pathway. Continued use of drugs short-circuits the reward pathway and that how addiction starts. The brain will then need more and more large quantities of the substance taken over time. The brain chemistry is altered at this point, therefore behavioural patterns starts here.
Drugs like cocaine can lead to permanent damage, death and even addition. From the article adapted from "RECOVERY NOW" website on cocaine effects, it is stated that there are two different categories of cocaine effect. These effects are said to be long termed and short termed .Regardless of how many times a person uses cocaine even once! he\she experiences short-term cocaine effects which includes increased blood pressure, mental alertness, increased heart rate, decreased appetite and increased body temperature .The long term effects appear after increased periods of use. Long term effects include irritability, mood disturbances and restlessness.
A photo showing a cocaine addict before and after use of it
A photo showing cocaine
Marijuana is also one of the most commonly abused drug and according to the American Council For Drug Education they describe it as a mild hallucinogen with some alcohol's depressant which results in bronchitis, emphysema and bronchial asthma. They also continue to stress that marijuana leads to reduction of learning ability which is one of the reasons why most students who smoke marijuana end up performing badly at school as it limits the capability to absorb information as it is highly addictive.
A photo showing marijuana
In an addiction state a person engages in a compulsive behaviour, even when faced with challenging life situations. Taking a look at the fast life in Kuala Lumpur a lot of challenges are faced by the youth there, these include unemployment, loss of a loved one or poverty. These situations can cause you to excessively use drugs to suppress such hurt felt within.
The National Anti-Drug Agency (New Straits 12 February 2010) has used over RM 300 million annually to prevent, treat, and rehabilitate addicts. They are trying to achieve the goal for a drug-free Malaysia in 2015 and drug-free Malaysian schools in 2012. The director of the agency Datuk Abdul Bakir Zin has mentioned that there is an alarming rate of drug abusers on the increase. The agency successfully rehabilitated 11 395 addicts in 2009 but only 51% of the addicts are clean now. That shows that the drug addicts do not have enough out of rehab education.
B.Vicknasigngam, M.Mazlan, K.S Schotchfield , M.C Chawaski(2009),stated that heroin and injection drug are the major public health risk cases recorded in Malaysia. Furthermore they continue to state from their findings, between the year 1998 and 2006 individuals close to 300 000 individuals were registered as persistent drug abusers in Malaysia. In between the years 1998-2006 heroin was the main primary drug abused around 62.6% of those were registered. And this caused a main concern for the Malaysian government as it lead to increase in social ills like road accidents and also the rise in HIV contraction as the drug abusers shared the same needle hence the spread of the virus was induced.
Despite the Malaysian strict law on use of illegal drugs people still continue to use the illegal drugs and have even gone to an extent of making it into a business to finance their lifestyle .The law clearly states that any person found in possession of at least 15 grams of heroin ,200 grams of cannabis is presumed. The National Drug Agency, Malaysia in 2006 around 22,811 drugs users was recorded and 12,430 of whom were repeat offenders. They also stress that the total number of drug users recorded for the period of 1998-2006 is 300,241 people which constitutes to 1.1% of the Malaysian's population.
CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY
The introduction highlights the data collection methods which were used to gather information which enabled us to reach our conclusion. One of the vital aspects we looked into was the validity and reliability of the data collection methods that we decided to use.
In our research we found that the ideal data collection methods that we can use are the questionnaire and interview for analysis
Questionnaires are very cost effective when compared to face-to-face interviews. This is especially true for studies involving large sample sizes and large geographic areas. Written questionnaires become even more cost effective as the number of research questions increases. Questionnaires are easy to analyze. Data entry and tabulation for nearly all surveys can be easily done with many computer software packages. Nearly everyone has had some experience completing questionnaires and they generally do not make people apprehensive and they reduce bias. The researcher's own opinions will not influence the respondent to answer questions in a certain manner. There are no verbal or visual clues to influence the respondent. When a respondent receives a questionnaire in the mail, he is free to complete the questionnaire on his own time-table. Unlike other research methods, the respondent is not interrupted by the research instrument.
Some of the reasons why questionnaires are widely used as data collection method in reports and projects in the fact that the responses are gathered in a standardised way so questions are more objective, certainly more so than interviews, generally it is relatively quick to collect information using questionnaires and information can be collected from a large portion of a group.
For our research a questionnaire, written both in English and Malay consisting of A3 size pages was sent to different agencies/organizations which were requested to answer it. The main contents of the questionnaire included;
Prevention of drug abuse
Outline organizations handling drug abuse problem
Institutional treatment programmes for drug abusers
Outline drug control laws
Interviews are also one of the most convenient ways of data collection for reports projects and investigations as they provide first hand information from the correspondent. The interview is also flexible in the since that follow up questions can be asked, also clarity of the question can be made if the respondent does not understand. Even though it has overwhelming advantages one of its major problems maybe that the correspondent may feel like shy to give out information and in that case the interviewer can solve the problem by assuring the correspondent that whatever he/she is being interviewed for will be considered confidential at all costs. For our research, interviews were conducted with the relevant agencies/organizations. Firstly we set an appointment with them and informing them of our objectives.