Premier: S’wak govt remains committed to drug demand reduction in State

Fatimah (fourth left), representing Premier Dato Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg, launching the International Recovery Symposium 2023.

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By Christopher Lidom

KUCHING, Sept 18: The Sarawak government takes pride in its continued commitment and contribution to drug demand reduction in the State.

According to Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg, such commitment is taken through integrated and robust collaboration between relevant enforcement agencies, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), community leaders, and vulnerable groups in the community.

“It is done by providing resources and functional coordinating governance through State- and district-level One-Stop Centres (OSCs) and Community Drug Demand Reduction (DDR) bureaus,” said Abang Johari, whose text speech was read by Minister of Women, Early Childhood, and Community Wellbeing Development Sarawak Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah representing him at the International Recovery Symposium (IRS) 2023 at Imperial Hotel today.

Meanwhile, acknowledging that the fight against drugs is not a battle that cannot be waged alone, Abang Johari said through global cooperation, exchange of ideas, and collective action, everyone can create a profound impact, including advocating for compassionate and effective policies, challenge stigma, and ensure access to quality treatment and recovery for all.

He emphasised that there is also a need to invest in prevention and early intervention programmes to mitigate the impact of addiction on individuals, families, and community wellbeing.

“Let us use the knowledge exchange at IRS 2023 to fuel the transformation of our policies, interventions, and communities.

“Together, we can build a future where addiction is better understood, where treatment and recovery are accessible to all, and where the shadow of addiction is overshadowed by the light of hope,” he added.

International Society of Substance Use Professionals (ISSUP) chief executive Joanna Travis Roberts (third right) presenting the DDR Stewardship Awards to the Sarawak government represented by Fatimah (fourth left) while the others look on.

The symposium also witnessed the exchange of a memorandum of understanding between the Sarawak government and the Sarawak Prison Department to implement a recovery network through an Integrated Social Issue Case Management System to provide social support and referrals for recovering inmates released.

Apart from that, there was also a presentation of the Sarawak DDR Award for the Most Active District OSC and the Most Active Community Bureau (Biro MIDS Kawasan Penghulu). — DayakDaily