Drug abuse: Intervention must be led by evidence, not just awareness campaigns, says NGO

ISSUP Malaysia president Cindy Biding

KUCHING, Jan 8: Effectively addressing the scourge of drug addiction and abuse requires more than just awareness campaigns, says governmental organisation International Society for Substance Use Professionals (ISSUP) Malaysia.

ISSUP Malaysia president Cindy Biding in a press release said that one of the reasons for the unwavering focus on prevention is that the scars of addiction are deep, etching themselves onto families, communities, and nations.

“It’s a venomous serpent, draining resources, shattering dreams, and casting a long shadow of lost potential. This is not a burden we can, will not, bear any longer.

“That’s why we reject the ineffective whispers of awareness campaigns. We embrace the scientific torch, illuminating the path towards evidence-based interventions, a systemic shift governments and civil societies must embrace. No more hollow slogans, we need science to back our actions,” she added.

According to the ISSUP president, this serves as a powerful call to action, a rallying cry for an empowered alliance.

“We invite you, not just to listen, but to join the chorus. Lend your voice, your expertise, your passion, and together, let us rewrite the narrative. Let 2024 be the year we empower our children with the knowledge to resist, equip educators and communities with the tools to guide, and champion evidence-based solutions that truly work.”

Cindy further emphasised that with everyone joining hands, they can build a future where the seeds of resilience bloom in every child, where addiction’s shadows are swept away by the light of empowered prevention.

Meanwhile, ISSUP Malaysia has set out a mission this year to nurture resilience and cultivating change.

In terms of ‘Nurturing the Seeds of Resilience’, Cindy stated that ISSUP will sow the seeds of evidence-based prevention programmes in schools.

“Rooted in science, these programmes are not hollow lectures, but tailored interventions, nurturing the skills and knowledge youth need to navigate temptation’s siren song.

“It’s a shift from awareness campaigns to targeted action, empowering our children to stand strong against the shadows of addiction.”

Regarding ‘Cultivating Champions of Change’, she noted the journey demands allies, a symphony of expertise echoing across the land.

“We call upon teachers, parents, community leaders, and education departments: be the chorus, guiding young minds with your wisdom and support.

“University students, your passion for prevention fuels our fire: join the orchestra, bringing fresh perspectives and vibrant energy.

“Fellow NGOs, champions of children’s health: weave your voices into the melody, enriching our chorus with your experience. And to all volunteers, the heartbeat of our movement: your dedication will be the rhythm that keeps us marching forward.” — DayakDaily