Perception, discrimination, and negative impression: reasons why addiction recovery is hard

By : Ct Ashlida binti Che Mat Razali

JELEBU, August 22, 2023 – The perception, discrimination, and negative impression against ex-addicts are deemed the factors why addiction recovery is difficult and for recurring relapses.

Director General of the National Anti-Drugs Agency (NADA), Mr. Sutekno Ahmad Belon, stated that this occurred because addicts are viewed as useless individuals.

“Despite numerous other reasons, I can see that this factor plays the biggest contribution in the relapse cases.

“Even when they have successfully finished their Treatment and Rehabilitation programme either in the institution (RPDI) or the community (RPDK) at NADA, they would still find it difficult to find their place in society and family.

“They continue to be neglected, looked at askance, and even worse, thrown inappropriate words at,” he said.


Mr Sutekno placed the Jalur Gemilang on the official vehicle as a gimmick during the launching of the National Month Celebration Ceremony and the Kibar Jalur Gemilang, NADA level 2023. Picture by NADA / Amir Zahien

The speech was given when he officiated the National Month Celebration Ceremony and the Kibar Jalur Gemilang, NADA level 2023.

Also present were NADA Deputy Director General (Management), Mrs. Chan Hong Jin and Negeri Sembilan Malaysia Information Department Director, Sabarudin Yeop Hamza.

At the same time, Mr. Sutekno claimed that the negative stigma thrown against addicts clearly worsens the situation.

“This actually further contributes to and influences the decision of an individual who has finished treatment and rehabilitation programmes to return to drug addiction,” he said.

He commented further that other support systems, mainly the family and the community, are important to ensure that the ex-addicts remain in recovery.

“Help them to achieve permanent recovery by changing the negative perceptions that have been instilled in our minds.

“We must free and release our thoughts and impressions by providing moral support to those in need of a safe place to fight for their lifelong recovery.

“I believe, with this support, a lot of NADA’s clients can live a prosperous and happy life with their beloved family,” he added.

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