The Federation of Private Medical Associations Malaysia (FPMPAM) and the Addiction Medicine Associations of Malaysia (AMAM) have applauded the government for its decision on the decriminalisation of drug addicts.
Dr Steven KW Chow, the president of both associations, noted that the medical fraternity had long appealed for a compassionate approach to the management of those afflicted by drug addiction, and advocated for the important role of medication-assisted therapy (MAT), together with psychosocial intervention at all levels of the community.
“We fully support this policy decision and will offer our services and resources to the government to help curb the ever-rising danger of addiction," he said in a statement.
Chow said the scientific evidence of addiction as a chronic brain disorder was irrefutable.
He further said that amendments to relevant provisions in the Drug Dependants (Treatment and Rehabilitation) Act 1983 would enable those in addiction to legally and confidently seek medical treatment.
Following a discussion between the Home Ministry and the Health Ministry in Putrajaya yesterday, drug addicts in the country will no longer be seen as criminals to be punished, but patients in need of treatment and rehabilitation.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said the Home Ministry and the Health Ministry agreed to implement the decriminalisation of drug addicts.
This decriminalisation would include a treatment programme to boost the roles of family members and the community.