Saturday, March 7, 2009

Ecstasy pills now the ‘in thing’ among drug users

Popping Ecstasy pills is now the in thing among drug users in the state. It has somewhat replaced glue-sniffing to a great extent.

Malaysian Dadah Abuse Prevention Association (Pemadam), Sarawak chairperson Datuk Sharifah Mordiah Tuanku Fauzi said this was one of the factors highlighted during the association’s meeting in Miri recently.

“The majority of those found involved in this activity are in the age range of 25 to 39 and they are mostly male,” she told reporters here yesterday.

Mordiah said there were a lot of reasons why people popped the pill, and among the reasons was stress - be it at work or home - and financial problems.

According to her, the pills are commonly ‘passed around’ or ‘dealt’ in entertainment spots and Pemadam has voiced the matter to the police.

“We have spoken to them (police) about it, and they assured us that they will keep vigilance over the matter and conduct frequent spot checks at entertainment centres,” she said.

She was unable to provide statistics on Ecstasy cases in the state, but said most of the cases occurred in major towns and cities like Kuching, Miri, Bintulu and Sibu.

Methylenedioxy-N-Methamphetamine (MDMA) or most commonly known by its street name Ecstasy is a semisynthetic member of the amphetamine class of psychoactive drugs, a subclass of phenethylamines.

MDMA’s experiential effects are more consistent than those produced by most psychedelics, and its euphoria appears to be distinct from most stimulants.

Before it was made a controlled substance, MDMA was used in psychotherapy. It is one of the most widely used illicit drugs in the world and commonly associated with rave culture.

Mordiah, who is the vice-chairperson of national Pemadam, said the battle against glue sniffing was tough even until today because there was no law on glue sniffing to support enforcement work.

“All Pemadam can do whenever it comes across such cases is to turn these substance abusers to the National Anti-Drug Agency which would then send them to rehabilitation centres. That’s all we can do for the glue sniffers,” she said.

She said to ensure this social scourge remain low in the state, Pemadam needed the cooperation of everyone, particularly parents.

“Parents should be more aware and concerned about what their children are doing and guide them along the right path.

“It will also help if they are actively involved in associations as this is one of the places where they can get the latest information on what’s happening around them” she said. She assured that Pemadam would continue to work with the National Anti-Drug Agency, the Ministry of Health and other relevant authorities to fight substance abuse.

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