One day while working, I met a young boy around 9 or 10 years old. His name is Justin. I tried talking to him but he just look at me with those big eyes and said nothing. I asked him, "Do you understand Mandarin?". He still won't reply me. I thought he was just shy.
Then the man who brought him told me that he is autistic. He goes to a special school. Justin keep looking at me not saying a single word. I later found out that the man who brought him is actually Justin's mother's boyfriend. And yes, he is a methadone patient whose urine is constantly positive for substance.
About two months later, I went back again to that same place. I had already forgotten about Justin. But again, I saw him. He smiled as he saw me. He came towards me and just kept staring at me. I asked him, "Do you remember me?" He didn't say anything again but I didn't care.
This time his mother was the one who brought him together with his little sister. The mother just started the methadone therapy but urine has still been constantly positive. I start worrying about what happens to Justin and his sister if their mother is still taking drugs.
Just last week, again another 2 months, I went back to work at this place again. I saw the boyfriend but there was no sign of Justin or the mother anywhere. So I asked the pharmacist in charge. Turns out the mother is taking methadone at another health clinic elsewhere.
He told me that the mother's brother is a drug pusher. Sells drugs and whenever there is leftover, he gives it to the mother. That is the reason mother cannot stop her drugs habit.
I was shocked to hear that. I thought about Justin. I worry what goes on at his home with his family all hooked on drugs. I wonder if he will be able to leave this kind of environment that he is currently in. Added with his condition, I worry if he will be okay.
The most innocent ones are the children. Parents who are drug addicts do not deserve to have children. If you cannot take care of yourself, how can you take care of the young children? Why can't they think for the benefit of their children? What if one day the children also grow up to be drug addicts?
At times like these, I feel helpless. Although it seems like I am helping the parents get better, I don't know if the children's conditions are improving or not. And yet, I don't know what I should do to help them.
The truth that no one will report is the fact that there are more and more drug addicts out there right now. Methadone therapy is not a cure for drugs, it is merely to suppress their drug-taking desires. Without the right psycho-social treatment of counselling and the proper environment for their rehabilitation, these patients are just a waiting time-bomb. It won't be long before they relapse and continue with their drug-taking habits.
The government plans to open up more methadone clinics. But what is the point when they should solve the root of the problems? What exactly is the enforcement doing to the point that drug pushers are selling drugs in broad daylight in a busy city like KL? If you think outskirts are better, they are not. Many drug addicts are still at large at small villages as the enforcement there is not as strict.
How long more are we going to treat their addiction when "temptations" are everywhere? This country is soon becoming a dangerous place to live in when there are nobody we can depend on to solve this drug problem. What we truly need, is indeed "superman", someone brave and bold enough with power to state what exactly is going on in this country without sugar-coating it.