Commonly Used Drugs in Malaysia

Drug abuse is not just a serious health problem within Malaysia, but it is also a complex one- face by many, and considered as a grave concern around the world. This statement holds true especially for more addictive drugs, such as various opioids and opioid derivatives, as well as psycho-active substances. Our government has been campaigning against this problem, but it seems as though permanent solutions for illicit drug use still remain quite elusive.

There has been sufficient amount of collected data, which illustrate the pattern of illicit drug use within Malaysia- an issue which it seems that our neighboring countries are facing as well.

Below are some of the most widely used drugs within Malaysia:


I’m sure that the majority of you have heard of heroin and it’s devastating effects on a person, but what is it really and what does it comprise of? Heroin is essentially an opioid which has been made from morphine (a natural substance taken from the seed pod of the various opium poppy plants). What this means is that heroin has an incredibly powerful euphoric effect, as well as major pain killing properties. 

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, from the years of 2008 to 2012, heroin was the primary drug of abuse within Malaysia- ranking consistently. Data has indicated that almost half of drug abusers had abused heroin, while another third were abusing morphine. According to the same report, that specific trend has been going downhill the past few years.

Amphetamine-type Stimulants (ATS)

According to a more recent study, usage of amphetamine-type stimulants have far exceeded that of their predecessor- opioids. 3,4-Methyl​enedioxy​methamphetamine, also known as MDMA, had the highest estimated per-capita consumption, with methamphetamine usage trailing closely behind. 

With that being said, methamphetamine is a central nervous system stimulating drug with similar effects to amphetamines, while MDMA is a synthetic drug that functions to modify mood and perception of the abusers to produce feelings of euphoria, increased energy, distorted senses along with altered time perceptions.

New Psychoactive Substances

As far as psycho active substances are concerned, the drugs that are most abused by users would be ketamine and kratom.As most of you have heard of ketamine (also known as “K”),we will be focusing on kratom, which is quite the elusive drug.  

Kratom trees thrive in the tropical forests of South-east Asian countries, and rural folks have been using it for medicinal purposes for many decades. Its leaves contain psychoactive opioid compounds and can be used to affect moods as well as relieving pain. Traditionally, it was used to combat fatigue from labour work, to de-worm, treat diarrhoea or even diabetes. In recent years, drug abusers have allegedly flocked to illegal stalls selling kratom drinks and teas as it is increasingly difficult to obtain their supplies of heroin or cannabis.

Ketamine use in Malaysia has been comparatively low, and it was reported to show a declining trend.

If you suspect a family member using any of these drugs, or exhibiting any signs of drug use and would like to have a quick test, have a look at our drug testing kits and see which one suits you and your needs the best. 


United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, “Patterns and Trends of Amphetamine-Type Stimulants and Other Drugs:Challenges for Asia and the Pacific

National Institute of Health, “Monitoring Consumption of Common Illicit Drugs in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, by Wastewater-Cased Epidemiology


International Journal of Collaborative Research on Internal Medicine & Public Health, “A Qualitative Study on Drug Abuse Relapse in Malaysia: Contributory Factors and Treatment Effectiveness

Mohamed M.N., Marican S., Elias N., Don. Y, “PATTERN OF SUBSTANCE AND DRUG


Department of Psychiatry, Hospital Kuala Lumpur, “A Review of Substance Abuse Research in Malaysia

MIMS Today, “The pattern of illicit drug use in Malaysia

New Straits Times, “Meth most popular drug among students - Education Ministry

National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Methamphetamine

National Institute on Drug Abuse, “MDMA (Ecstasy/ Molly Drug Facts)

National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Kratom

National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Club Drugs Trends and Statistics