ALOR STAR: A MOTHER was found to have used her two-month-old baby for money to satisfy her drug addiction.
This was revealed during a joint operation under the National Blue Ocean Strategy with the National Anti-Drug Agency (Nada), police and the state Education and Welfare Departments.
A state Welfare Department spokesman said drug addicts had been using children to get cash. Some mothers even drugged their children to get them to
do what they wanted, resulting in children becoming addicts.
He said in just three months, the department had rescued 11 children, aged between 2 months and 13 years, who were neglected by their drug addict parents.
He said it was unfortunate that the children did not get the opportunity to go to school.
“Some of them are neglected, while others are homeless. The department has rescued 11 children since we started the operation last year.
“The children are being cared for by their relatives,” he told the New Straits Times.
He said the department rescued five siblings, including a 2-month-old baby, during a raid in Kota Sarang Semut here last November.
He added that of the five, an 11-year-old tested positive for drugs and had drug supplies on him, believed to belong to his parents.
“Nada officers had detained the parents. But, they continue to use their children to gain people’s sympathy. The five children are under their aunt’s care after receiving a temporary order under Section 19(2) of the Child Act (Amendment) 2016.”
He said four siblings, aged between 3 and 9, were found in a dilapidated house, while their father was busy taking drugs at a neighbour’s house, during another operation in Simpang Kuala near here.
He said the children’s parents were being monitored by Nada.
“We rescued two children aged 5 and 12 in the latest raid. They were living on the streets with their drug addict mother.
“Investigations showed that the elder sibling stopped going to school at 10.
“Both the children have been referred to the hospital.”
He said the department would continue to rescue the neglected children of drug addicts.
‘264 Kedah teens used drugs last year’
ALOR STAR: There has been a worrying upward trend in the number of teenagers who use drugs in Kedah.
State National Anti-Drug Agency (Nada) director Mahadzir Elias said 264 teenagers, aged between 13 and 18, tested positive for drugs last year.
“This shows an increase from 41 teens in 2016. Most of them had quit school. This might be why they used drugs,” he told the New Straits Times.
Mahadzir said cannabis, opiates and methamphetamine were popular among teenagers.
He said methamphetamine was widely used among high school students.
“This is because it is easy to find and cheap. It is sold at RM30 and we found that there is usually a drug pusher among the students.”
Mahadzir said 189 schools from 11 districts in the state had “high-risk” students who were likely to use drugs.
Students in these schools had urine tests to determine if they used drugs, he added.
He said students from 190 schools had urine tests in 2016.
Last year, one of the schools was dropped from the list of high-risk schools as it no longer had drug problems.
“We are focusing not only on urine tests for teenagers or high-risk students, but also educating students through awareness campaigns and ‘Drug-Free School’ programmes.”
He said the goal of the programmes was to ensure that students did not become drug addicts.
“These campaigns and urine tests are targeted at Form Three to Form Five students, while for primary schools, we will focus more on educational campaigns.”
In October last year, NST reported that the Education Ministry was ready to work with the Home Ministry to address drug abuse among students.
Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid had said the cooperation, through the National Blue Ocean Strategy, was needed following the ministry’s identification of 420 high-risk schools.
Last week, seven siblings, including a 10-year-old, tested positive for metamphetamine in Kampung Bukit Pokok Sena here.
‘Victims may become a threat to others’
ALOR STAR: Kedah National Anti-Drug Agency (Nada) icon Dr Zaki Zaman Abd Rashid said the
number of cases involving children being exploited by their drug addict parents was on the rise.
“Imagine the future of children who have been exposed to or are using drugs as a result of having drug addict parents.
“What will they be when they grow up?
“We worry that they will become a threat to the community,” he told the New Straits Times.
He was commenting on the state Welfare Department’s revelation that some parents were using their children to gain public sympathy to get money for drugs.
Dr Zaki, who is also Kedah Professionals and Entrepreneurs Association chairman, said people should not give in to drug addicts out to gain sympathy.
“I know Malaysians are generous, but they should not help parents who use their children to get money to feed their drug habit.
“Please contact the authorities if you come across parents who neglect their children or expose them to drugs.
“Those who have information about children who do not go to school or have been exposed to drugs should report the matter to the authorities.”
He said such children should be rescued before it was too late.
“Children of drug addict parents are also at risk of developing mental illness.”