: School children in 420 schools nationwide have been identified by the Royal Malaysian Police and Education Ministry to be at high risk of serious drug abuse, said Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed.
He said if the situation is ignored, the drug addiction problem would worsen making it difficult to control.
"If the drug menace is curbed from the beginning we will be able to maintain our system and not become like those who resort to extreme policies," he told a press conference after launching CIPTA 2018 at the University of Malaya, here, last night.
Meanwhile, Nur Jazlan, who is also Malaysian Drug Prevention Association (Pemadam) president revealed that random tests conducted on 36,675 schoolchildren in 2015 found 1,475 of them positive for drugs.
Of the total, 1,075 children or 73 per cent were positive for amphetamine-type stimulants while the rest were positive for cannabis-related drugs.
When asked to comment on drug abuse among students in tertiary institutions (IPT), Nur Jazlan said the number involved was negligible.
He said of the 11,000 public IPT students who were screened nationwide from January to June this year, only 250 were found drug positive while in the private colleges and universities, 158 of the 4,000 screened were found to be positive for drugs.
"One of the reasons they turn to drugs is to cope with examination pressure and to stay awake to study," he said.
Earlier, Pemadam launched the CIPTA 2018 campaign to bring the association closer to youth groups by organising a competition to create logo, slogan, songs and videos for Pemadam.
The competition to run from Oct 25 to Dec 6 offers a grand prize of RM10,000.
Participation is opened to all Malaysians and for more information visit pemadam.org.my.