Drug Abuse Among School Students in Johor 2020: Where Did We Go Wrong?

An ongoing battle to save a generation from succumbing to substance addiction

Drug Abuse
Drugs test conducted in 280 secondary schools statewide shows 3 digits numbers of students were positive of drugs use - Image for illustration only

The nation, especially the state was sent into a shock when the State Education, Information, Heritage and Culture Committee chairman Mazlan Bujang disclosed that a total of 177 secondary school students were tested positive for drugs-use through the National Anti-Drugs Association (AADK)’s urine test that was conducted statewide at 280 secondary schools. With massive anti-drugs campaign that was running in Malaysia since the 1990s, the numbers have seen a rapid decline ever since. However, to know that substance abuse among students are still going on over the mark of 100 is a concerning issue not only among parents but also the society as the children are the nation’s human capital.

Johor Police Chief, Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said the state’s police will investigate further on the claims down to the source – the drug pushers

“These students usually display symptoms that we can detect. Even if the numbers are not high or too worrying, we should nevertheless be aware and concerned. If possible, we want zero cases. As educators, that is our hope,” Mazlan told reporters after attending the Mind Transformation Programme: Involvement of Parents and the Community to Address Drug and Substance Abuse as well as Social Problems, at the Tan Sri Mohamed Rahmat Complex.

Previously in April 2020, Haji Azman Adnan, the Director of Johor Education Department in his speech on vape and drug abuse among school students in a seminar that was attended by 400 teachers, councillors and headmasters in Johor Bahru, Kulai and Pasir Gudang said, “As of 2019, AADK has tested 5,000 students for drugs and 148 students were found positive in the first stage. Based on that test, the education department has carried out various interventions to ensure that our children are no longer involved with these sick trends”.

Citing Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025 on Shift 9 where the department starts partnering with parents, community, and private sectors at scale, Azman wishes for schools to make use of the supporting entities like Parents and Teachers Association (PIBG) actively on this particular issue apart from the department’s strategic partners made up of government bodies like the State Department of Health and NGOs like International Women’s Peace Group Malaysia (IGWP).

In response to AADK’s disclosure of such high numbers of students involved, Johor Police Chief, Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said the state’s police will start investigating and it will be geared more towards tracking down drug pushers to students.