Recovering drug addicts at a Community Rehabilitation Programme for Drugs Addicts briefing at a National Service camp in Semenyih last month. PIX BY LUQMAN HAKIM ZUBIR

SEMENYIH: A mother thought her world was crashing when she received a call informing her that her son had been arrested for drug abuse.

She never knew he was a drug user.

It came as a shock, but now she is glad, as she watches her son begin his journey to recovery and embark on a promising future.

“I always feared that my children would be involved in drugs, and my worst fears came true with that phone call in January.

“I want my son to be a new man. Let this journey allow him to turn over a new leaf. That is all I hope,” she said, looking at her son.

Normah’s (not her real name) son, along with 200 other recovering drug addicts, are undergoing a special training programme at a National Service camp here as part of the Community Rehabilitation Programme for Drugs Addicts by the National Anti-Drugs Agency (Nada).

Recovering addicts registering for the rehabilitation programme in Semenyih.

Her son, Hazim (not his real name), began experimenting with drugs when he was 20.

Influenced by friends, he descended deeper into drug abuse and three years later, he was caught by Nada.

“I have been free from drugs since I was placed under observation by Nada, and although it has only been a short while, this feels good.

“Some may think that I am just saying this, but I do not want to go back to the old ways. I want to change and, if possible, stay away from the people who influenced me to take drugs,” he said.

Another parent, Zai (not her real name), 56, said people must be open-minded in accepting rehabilitated drug addicts back into the community.

“No one knows the feelings of a drug addicts’ parents unless they are one. I can only pray that they never have to go through what I did.

“But, I pray that they can accept recovered drug addicts and give them the support to go through this phase in their life.

“This programme will give them an opportunity to undergo training and be a part of the community later on,” said Zai, who was at the camp to send off her 29-year-old son.

She said she hoped that the programme would improve her son’s mental strength and make his life more meaningful.

Two brothers were among the trainees from Selangor.

Rizat, 21, and Afiq, 19, (not their real names) were detained by Nada during a raid on an addicts’ hut in their village in Beranang near here.

“We once tried to quit drugs by leaving our place, but when we returned a few months later, we gave in to the temptation,” said Rizat.

The brothers, who have never joined any drug rehabilitation programme in the past, hoped that this programme would help them find a job.

“I really want to quit. I have a family, my wife and my two children, to take care of.

“I want to come out of this programme as a fully recovered addict so that I can set a good example for my children,” said Afiq, whose extended family was present to encourage the brothers.

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