Photo credit: www.nrc.nl & Prof. Jenishbek B. Nazaraliev
How can Malaysia make the fight against drugs and its illegal trade more effective?
Malaysia - a young country in demographic sense. About 70% of its population are aged between 17 and 25 years old. This factor however is a threat to the stability of social development due to the risk of drug addiction, followed by the risk of diseases such as - HIV and AIDS, and increase in crime.
At the same time, Malaysia, a relatively developed and successful country, is both a major market and transit country for drug traffickers. On the one hand, together with the influx of illegal workers from Indonesia, Burma and Thailand and is the flow of drugs. On the other - part of the smuggling goes to Taiwan, China and Macau.
Despite the fact that Malaysia is the country with the most stringent legislation against crimes related to drugs (the law of 1975 authorizes the death penalty for drug trafficking), according to official data from 1 to 1.6% of the population (which is more than 30 thousand people) are considered to be dependent.
Hanging as an exceptional punishment for possession of 15 grams of heroin and 200 grams of marijuana, as well as the import of potent drugs intimidating acts. However, the drug trade continues, not only in deprived urban areas, but also in universities.
According to official data, heroin remains the most widely abused drug in Malaysia. Methamphetamines and amphetamines ranked at the second and third place respectively. One of the reasons - they do not need to be injected and can easily be smoked or inhaled through the nose. As they say in many forums on the Internet- ‘to buy ice, shabu or meth on the street is easy’. However, they have one serious competitor- smoking spices and other ‘designers’ drugs which shift traditional opioids and synthetic drugs outskirts.
The severity and danger of modern drugs underestimated in many countries. Firstly, unlike conventional drugs, they exist in the gray area of the law - the majority of the chemical compounds simply cannot keep the power for banning. De facto and de jure - they are legal. For example, in Malaysia, none of the species or smoking mixtures officially forbidden (chemical compound JWH-018, and variations and HU and CP). Meanwhile, the so-called Spice is very popular among young people, who prefer ‘fashionable’ drugs.
Secondly, the mixture is relatively cheap to manufacture, and its bulk manufacture in Asia, particularly in China. Many of the "designer" drugs can be prepared at home, so the regions where the raw materials collected, such as Afghanistan for opioids, loses its importance. Today, in many countries due to the strengthening of the dollar and the currency wars, heroin becomes more expensive, and smoking mixtures on the contrary, are getting cheaper, creating another dangerous premise for distribution.
In Muslim countries; in the Middle East, North Africa, and particularly in the Persian Gulf monarchies our public organization the World League "Mind Free of Drugs" (http://outofdrug.org/en ), which is headed by me, has recorded the following. The states struggle with the spread of conventional drugs.Severely punishing drug traffickers, but poorly controlling two types of new drugs – smoking mixtures and medical drugs.
The second type of medical drug - Tramal, tramadol, oxycodone and various tranquilizers and antidepressants - has become a real disaster for Egypt and Saudi Arabia. In particular, due to the fact that many of their application is not considered contrary to the dogmas of Islam. This misconception is unfortunately based on a centuries – old tradition of smoking fruit mixture with hookah and a modern approach to treat disease or sickness by medical drugs (most of modern drugs are officially represented and sold as antidepressants).
The official statistics states that dependent on smoking mixtures and medications are usually not taken into account, but we must understand that these drugs are more accessible to young people and, therefore, severely dangerous.
Leading international economists and politicians know that drugs are targeting and hitting young population, and this in turn is damaging the prospects of the future economy. The big question today is -how to deal with new psychoactive substances, which escape from the secular and religious laws?
As the president of the World League 'Mind Free of Drugs', I believe that the most effective approach in the fight against illegal trafficking and drug addiction is a primary prevention among young people.
Since 2002, with positive promotion and a series of information campaigns, our organization has been working on forming conscious immunity against drugs among young population of our planet.
On the one hand, drugs use must be devoid of any glamor we must demonstrate that this is the path to self-destruction and social bottom. On the other - in the projects we shall plant healthy and traditional values to young people. Our practical experience has shown its successful effect in some conventional countries for drug trafficking from Afghanistan to Russia and it works. Malaysia has an excellent chance to operate not only the police methods with strict legislation against the old types of drugs, but also to introduce smart approaches and to change the attitude to major risk groups, particularly those that are difficult to ban.
I strongly believe and I am confident - healthy and natural values will eventually win!
Professor Jenishbek B. Nazaraliev
Founder & President of the World League ‘Mind Free of Drugs’ (Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic)
Presented method on drug and alcohol addiction treatment addiction at the National Health Institute (Washington, USA) in 1996
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