Taylor’s News: Understanding Drug Addiction and Abuse

Taylor’s University College and Taylor’s College raise awareness on the issue through the “Drug Free Campus Campaign” from July 5-29, 2010.

Many teenagers engage in risky behaviour such as smoking, alcohol consumption, and drug use to either “fit in” with their peers or as a coping mechanism for stress. Studies on teen drug abuse in America show that 20% of teenagers in the 8th grade (13-14 years old) have tried marijuana at least once. This alarming statistic is compounded by another – teenagers who drink are apparently 50 times more likely to use cocaine (or other drugs) than those who don’t consume alcohol (Teen Drug Abuse, US).

It is to create awareness and educate the public about drug abuse and addiction that Taylor’s University College and Taylor’s College, in collaboration with PENGASIH Malaysia, have pioneered the Drug Free Campus Campaign (DFCC). Themed, “Getting High: It’s a Matter of Choice!” the Campaign’s primary objective is to equip the campus community and public about exercising choice when dealing with drugs.

The month-long event includes a collage of activities including talks, concert, poster competition, futsal competition, photography contest and graffiti wall art, each aimed at engaging the students, staff and general public to interact and learn about the issue.

En. Adnan Omar, Head of Counseling and Psychological Services Centre (CPSC), Student Experience Department at Taylor’s University College, said, “Many people don’t understand the complexities of drug addiction and compulsive drug abuse. What people fail to see is that it is a disease that impacts the brain, and because of that, stopping drug abuse is not a matter of “if he wants to do it he can”. It’s not just about willpower.

DFCC hopes to provide a holistic view on the issue by inviting speakers from PENGASIH, Royal Malaysia Police, National Anti-Drug Agency as well as recovered addicts to share their experiences and lessons learned. This will provide participants with a deeper understanding on the complexities of the situation and how it is possible for addicts to be successfully treated and rejoin society as functional members,” he explained.

The official launch of the Campaign will be held on July 22, 2010 with the representative of Yang Berhormat Dato’ Saifuddin Abdullah, Deputy Minister of Higher Education II officiating the event. The event will include an exhibition by PENGASIH Malaysia, Jabatan Penjara Malaysia, Jabatan Kesihatan Wilayah Persekutuan, Polis Di Raja Malaysia, and LPPKN, talks on understanding and coping with addiction and sharing of personal success stories by members of PENGASIH. The Royal Malaysia Police and National Anti-Drug Agency will also give us a hard look at “Facts and Figures on Drug Addiction”.

For more information on how you can participate in the Drug Free Campus Campaign, contact Sia Gian Yee at 03-5636 2641 ext. 467, Hamizah Mohamed Hambali at 03-6203 0168 ext. 126 or Chai Pei Ling at 03-5629 5024.

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