From financial and economic instability, to mental health disorders, the consequences of the lockdown to curb the spread of Covid 19, are numerous. One of the often-overlooked consequences, is addiction problematics, which have been on the rise in Malaysia since the implementation of the movement control order.
One Malaysian organization,namely Solace Asia Sdn Bhd, on the front line of the war against drug and alcohol addiction in Malaysia since 2014, is currently observing a spike in the number of requests for help and support by those afflicted by addiction, be it substance or behavioral.
Originally headquartered in Kota Kinabalu under the name of Solace Sabah, to cater to the increasing demand for addiction rehab services in peninsular Malaysia, in October 2019 the organization has relocated its facility to Kuala Lumpur and rebranded itself under the new name of Solace Asia.
As an essential healthcare provider, the facility has remained operational during the lockdown in support of those suffering from addiction and other co-occurring mental health disorders and its currently still accepting clients on a weekly basis.
Headed by Dr. Prem Kumar Shanmugam, CEO & Clinical Director of Solace Asia, since the announcement of the soft landing of the movement control order, the organization has observed a 50% increase in enquiries for drug and alcohol addiction treatment, a 70%increase in stimulant-based` treatment related to psychotic episodes as a result of amphetamine, methamphetamine (also known as ice, syabu, crystal)abuse.
As for behavioral, such as gambling addictions, sex addictions and internet or gaming addictions, Dr. Prem Kumar Shanmugam added that Solace is already seeing a 30 - 50% increase in enquiries seeking addiction treatment, encouraging anyone experiencing addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders to take actions before one’s health conditions declines further.
With a number of international clients from Singapore, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh on awaiting list, the clinical team at Solace Asia has been supporting only Malaysian nationals during these challenging times and will continue to do so, until the national borders will be reopened and clients from all over the world, can again fly into Malaysia to seek addiction treatment.
Relapses among those who have not undergone a structured addiction treatment program have unfortunately been on the rise as well, with the majority being alcohol related. As a result of this,the number of fatal road accidents caused by alcohol impaired drivers has increased in recent weeks, causing the Malaysian government to call for an amendment of the penalty under section 41 of the Road Transport Act (1987), for those causing death while driving under the influence.
As an organization that on a daily basis deals with these problematics, should you or a loved one being experiencing addiction, we encourage you to contact Solace Asia, either via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 0128854686 / 0197154686. To know more,visit Solace Asia’s website at www.solaceasia.org