Monday, June 26, 2017

Home Affairs Minister commemorates International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking; vows increased drug prevention, services

 By Lieutenant General Kyaw Swe, Union Minister for Home Affairs
26th June, 2017

Today, being the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, ceremonies commemorating the international day against drug abuse and illicit trafficking will be celebrated across the nations in the world.

Since the time when the United Nations General Assembly designated 26 June as the international day against drug abuse in 1987 regional prevention teams that have been fighting against narcotic and psychotropic drugs will observe their 30th anniversary celebration today.

Similarly, seized narcotic drugs will be burned in Yangon, Mandalay and Taunggyi simultaneously as in previous years.
With a view for the whole populace to be able to participate in the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, starting from the year 1998, there have been annual competitions for short story, article, poem, song, photograph, computerized poster, freelance slogan writing and contests for painting, cartoon, poster and computerized painting for primary, middle and high school students. Counternarcotics agencies will present prizes to the winners during today’s ceremonies.

This year, 107 prize winners out of 3,246 competitors in all will be rewarded. Regional teams formed by central counternarcotics committee include NGOs, civil society groups, religious organizations and entrepreneurs at various levels, including the Nay Pyi Taw Council, region, state, district, township, ward and village officials.
The government has been eradicatings by two methods—eradication of production and eradication of drug abuse. Under the process of eradication of production, prevention and management, we have promoted development assistance, crop substitution, assistance with livestock breeding, and we have controlled precursor chemicals. Under the process of eradication of drug abuse,  we have promoted medical treatment, rehabilitation, youth education and international cooperation.

The prevention and management team performed 17 regional special operations between May 2013 and February 2017. Teams for development assistance performed built roads and bridges. They also enhanced education, health, reclaimed farming land, promoted water projects and power plants and TV transmission stations. The team also promoted the new construction of religious edifices and residences. The team also promoted livelihoods by promoting better livestock breeding practices, including vetenary treatment and dissemination of breeding knowledge.

In order to provide alternatives to poppy cultivation the team has promoted the distribution of perennial plants, seeds, fertilizers and insecticides, better techniques, farming test plots and reclamation of farm land.

The team also promoted enhanced control systems for precursor chemicals used in the manufacture of narcotics, including the creation of a monitoring committee for controlled substances tasked with supervising storage, shipment, purchasing and distribution of imported  percursor chemicals in accord with the law.

For systematic treatment of drug abuse, 26 centers for medical treatment of drug addicts and 47 branches were opened in townships as well as 46 methadone substitution centers opened in townships in which drug abuse is critical.

In addition to direct treatment solutions, public health projects aimed at reducing drug abuse are also being implemented. Currently, one-stop services are also being provided for addicts.

Being a chronic illness, drug addiction cannot be easily cured. Only rehabilitation can help addicts be free from abusing drugs. Hence, the rehabilitation department had formed voluntary drug supervision teams to perform the tasks of giving physical and spiritual rehabilitation to drug addicts who received treatments, inculding vocational training and supplementary care services.

To reduce drug abuse rates, students are directly and indirectly being educated at an early age, using school-level educative teams, presenting talks, wall-chart writings, distributing slogans, including drug prevention messages in school lessons, presenting shows and exhibitions and providing teacher trainings on the subject of drug prvention.

In addition to the education sector, MRTV is broadcasting educational programs about the dangers of drugs in Myanmar in English and ethnic languages with the intention of providing knowledge about the dangers of narcotics.

Counternarcotics efforts also involves cooperation with neighboring nations in the Mekong region, with the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multisectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), the UN and other international organizations.
To assist with the process of drug abuse prevention UNODC is conducting a survey in Myanmar.

The survey of drug abuse will include information required to protect the country from the dangers of drugs, hence the need to make concerted effort in respective sectors for its success.

Addicts require better services and treatment without being stigmatized or discriminated against.Addicts deserve our sympathy and the understanding that drug addiction is a curable illness.

As for the education sector, it needs to be well versed in the causes of drug abuse, so that it can impart knowledge about drug addiction that is empirical and grounded in facts.

Regarding drug prevention, success must be measured by reduction of drug-related crimes, dangers and fear.
Progress in human societies are measured by indices that show the extent by which drug abuse is reduced as well as drug seizure figures. This is how we will build a secure and happy human society which is free from dangers of narcotics.
While planning projects and working processes it was discovered that the dangers of drugs can be effectively reduced only if there are adequate systems to address the sources of the problem and if  such systems are implemented in a fact-based, empirical way.

Drug crimes closely correlated  with illegal international trafficking  and the activities of organized criminal networks. With the development of new commercial routes, crimes involving the trafficking illicit goods, including drugs, have increased, hence the need to prevent illicit trafficking and cross-border crimes with increased fervor.

The Union and state governments are coordinating all governmental organizations and departments to fight drug crimes and drug abuse. Likewise the public needs make individual efforts and join in common cause.

In accord with this year’s motto, “Listen First” the International Day Against Drug-Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, we hereby call on our people to listen to the concerns and needs of our youth and simultaneously support their development and health by reducing drug abuse.

Ref; The Global New Light of Myanmar

No comments:

Post a Comment