Away from the focus of this blog, I dedicate this article to the annual International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. The United Nations General Assembly decided by a resolution on the 7th of December 1987 to set aside June 26 ‘as an expression of its determination to strengthen action and cooperation to achieve the goal of an international society free of drug abuse.’
The Drug Abuse Mess
The UN General Assembly, prior to this, had come to the realization that all efforts by the international community to rein in drug abuse and illicit trafficking have proven abortive. The problem continues to pose a threat to the entire human race. Unfortunately, the most susceptible are the young ones who ideally should move the global village to the next level. It is against this backdrop that 26 June was earmarked to raise awareness on this life threatening enigma.
This year is no exception. The theme is:
“Listen First – Listening to children and youth is the first step to help them grow healthy and safe.”
Once again, the emphasis is on the young ones. The threat cuts across all strata of life, hence all – individuals, parents, families, communities, associations, organisations and Government bodies are urged to participate in this campaign.
What suggestions have been offered as a way forward?
‘The outcome document recommends measures to address demand and supply reduction, and to improve access to controlled medicines while preventing diversion. The recommendations also cover…new emphasis on proportionate national sentencing policies and practices for drug-related offences, and features a strong focus on prevention and treatment.’
Of particular interest in this phrase in the recommendation that says
‘…a strong focus on prevention …’
Have you ever heard the saying: ‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?’ Which of the options is better? To prevent or cure ? One major cause of drug abuse and trafficking is Money. That industry happens to be a source of huge financial returns to those who participate in it. Within a very short period of time, drug traffickers can have their financial power turned around. The unfortunate result is many young ones (irrespective of their educational status) are lured into that industry. The untold experiences they suffer cannot be mentioned in this context.
Note that the greed for Money is just one of the many reasons why people get involved in drug abuse and trafficking. An offshoot of that problem is the high rate of unemployment / underemployment / lack of job satisfaction, etc. While the educational institutions churn out a high number of applicants on a regular basis, the saturated and over stretched job market is clueless as to what to do with the new entrants. So therein lies a solution. Get the young minds to be gainfully busy, to be productive and earn substantial income to take care of their needs. Then the drug trafficking barons will realize they are gradually losing the battle.
Drug abuse and illicit trafficking and is a huge war, one that cannot be won by a single strike. It requires collective efforts, several missions to be taken to overcome the menace!
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