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History of drug use and epidemiological aspects of drug use in Malaysia

Mohamed, Mahmood Nazar (2011) History of drug use and epidemiological aspects of drug use in Malaysia. In: 5th CINP Pacific-Asia Regional Meeting, 19–22 June 2011, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Unpublished)

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Drugs was present in Malaysia since its pre-independence days. Chinese migrant workers brought in by the British to work in Malaya then, a colony of Britain also brought in opium to help them to work in this foreign land. Thus, traditionally, the drug of choice in Malaysia has been opiate-based drugs (opium, heroin and morphine) and later marijuana was brought in during the hippie era of the 60's. In the past decade, annually the authorities identified more than 35,000 drug addicts in the country, mostly heroin abusers. This problem escalated to its peak in the early 80's and since then, the Cabinet Committee on the eradication of drugs, national and regional mechanisms to curb drug misuse and abuse in the country, legal provisions within the criminal justice system, government treatment and rehabilitation programs, comprehensive prevention program and NGO treatment and rehabilitation programs has been established to reduce and eradicate drug misuse and abuse in the country. With all these efforts, the number mandated to drug treatment has since reduced to about 25,000 cases at the turn of the millennium. However, other challenging issues surfaced such as the introduction of amphetamine-type-stimulants (ATS), misuse of ketamine, inhalants and other substances and on the rise especially among the younger generation. On top of that, injecting Drug Users (IDU) becomes a major mode of HIV Transmission in Malaysia. Since HIV first identified in the country, most of those confirmed HIV positive are injecting users, and it peaked at 76% of PLWHAs. Urban centers like Kuala Lumpur, Pulau Pinang & Johor Bahru have large populations of IDU. Several intervention programs were initiated such as OST, MMT, NSEP, open access treatment facilities and many others has further brought down cases to about 15-18 thousand cases. At present, new policy initiatives are on the way to further reduce the incidence of drug use in the country.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Additional Information: CINP (Collegium Internationale Neuro-Psychopharmacologicum)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Divisions: College of Arts and Sciences
Depositing User: Prof. Dr. Mahmood Nazar Mohamed
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2011 09:27
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2011 09:27
URI: http://repo.uum.edu.my/id/eprint/3845

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