Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Noh: Need to spice up anti-drug campaigns

Star: MARAN: Anti-drug awareness campaigns should no longer be confined to cosy conference and seminar rooms but conducted in open spaces with plenty of activities, Deputy Education Minister Datuk Noh Omar said.
He said the conventional way of holding forums and seminars in hotels, lasting half a day, had been ineffective and should be discontinued.
“There should be more activities involved, such as sports, entertainment, exhibitions and demonstrations,” he told reporters yesterday at a state-level anti-drug campaign launched by Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob at the Bandar Jengka mini stadium here.
“The aim is to get many people under one roof and spread the anti-drug message.”
Citing the three-day event which ended yesterday that included a motor-cross show as an example, Noh said it attracted different types of crowds daily.
Noh, also the Umno anti-drug bureau chairman, said the new approach was more practical and had a chance to succeed.
He said the ministry would continue to hold anti-drug awareness campaigns among students, similar to motivation camps aimed at improving their studies.
“We hope students will be able to get a balanced guide on how to get good grades and not get involved in drugs. What is the point of achieving good grades when addicted to drugs?”
Noh also urged parents whose children had undergone treatment and rehabilitation to give them a second chance, so as to prevent them from returning to their old habits. Many who kicked the habit became addicts again because family members turned their backs on them, he said.
“They had no place to go to and returned to their old friends, continuing to indulge in unhealthy activities,” he added.
“Family support is very crucial to help them get back on the right track.”
Noh said the ministry had also instructed all schools to include anti-drug messages in their speeches during assemblies.
He said anti-drug campaigns would be more effective with the public's cooperation, as it would be an uphill task if left entirely to the Government and relevant agencies.
“This problem is of national proportions, affecting everyone regardless of age, education level and political belief,” he said.
Adnan, in his speech, lauded the efforts of volunteers from non-governmental organisations such as the Drop-In-Centre, whose members are mainly former drug addicts.
He said they had worked tirelessly with the state government by holding talks and sharing their past experiences with the public in the hope of creating awareness of the bad effects of drug addiction.

No comments: