Chief Editor: Ansar Mahmood Bhatti

Drug abuse a parasite eating up humanity: speakers

2019.6.26_Picture World Drug Report Launch 2019 (3)

ISLAMABAD, JUNE 26 (DNA) – Shaheryar Afridi Minister of State for SAFRON and Narcotics Control has said, 26 June is celebrated all over the world as a day against drug abuse and illicit trafficking.

He expressed these words as chief guest at function held in connection with International Drug Day.

The minister said “If you talk about the importance of this day, it should be discussed with those parents whose children are taking drugs or whose loved ones have left this world due to drug abuse.”

“It is a parasite which is eating up humanity” we have been taking effective measures and inshallah we will curb this menace”.

The Ministry of Narcotics Control, Anti Narcotics Force, and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)  Country Office Pakistan in partnership with World Health Organization jointly commemorated the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking on 26 June and the launch of World Drug Report 2019, with a campaign and a series of events all over the country aimed at raising awareness of the major problem that illicit drug use represents to society and particularly to young people.

This year the theme is “Justice for Health – Health for Justice” which highlights that justice and health are two sides of the same coin when it comes to addressing drug problems.

Talking at the occasion Amjad Javed Saleemi PSP Secretary Narcotics said, “This day reminds us that it is our moral duty to endeavor to save our near and dear ones from the curse of narcotic drugs.

Ministry of narcotics control is working vigorously to get Pakistan rid of menace of narcotics, however complete eliminations of this evil needs concerted efforts from all segments of society. This day reinforces our resolve to join hands with each other against this social evil which is gradually destroying our youth. This day we commit that we will undertake our efforts with full devotion and dedication to curb the menace of narcotics”.

While giving the presentation on World Drug Report 2019, UNODC highlighted 4.5 million more people need treatment against drug use disorders than previously estimated.

In his remarks Major General Mohammad Arif Malik DG ANF said, “as regards Drug Demand Reduction, the MNC / ANF are actively engaged in conducting awareness activities including seminars, walks, debates and sports to sensitize youth, a major part of our population, against hazards of narco-drugs. The target audience of such activities is our youth / students of schools, colleges and universities.”

He also informed “besides this, special print media campaigns are run on important days e.g. 23rd March, 26th June, 14th August, Hajj Season etc.

In addition to this, the MNC is working in close collaboration with the Islamabad Traffic Police (ITP). Special promos against hazards of drugs are being run on FM 100 and FM 96.4. ANF has its own Drug Demand Reduction Cell, which continuously conduct awareness sessions at all provinces. Prevention or Demand Reduction is not limited to raise awareness against drugs only, it also include the treatment of drug addicts as tertiary prevention.

The MNC has four Model Addiction Treatment & Rehabilitation Centers (MATRCs) at Islamabad, Quetta, Sukkur and Karachi, which are being managed by the ANF. Free of cost treatment is given to the drugs affected in these facilities. The MATRC in Peshawar is under construction with the help of the KP Government.

While giving remarks, Dr. Palitha Mahipala WHO Representative said, “let me take this opportunity to add here that tobacco is the leading risk factor towards the drug use, in fact it is a first step towards this menace. Tobacco is the only legal drug that kills many of its users.  WHO has estimated that tobacco use, whether smoking or smokeless, is currently responsible for the annual global death of 8 million people, many of whom die prematurely. This includes over 600 000 people estimated to die from the effects of second-hand smoke.

Suhail Mohd AlZarooni a philanthropist donated 110 beds to ANF’s Modern Drug Treatment Centers in Rawalpindi, Sindh and Balochistan. He flew all the way from Dubai to attend the event and to partner with UNODC  in their work for drug awareness and prevention among vulnerable youth. He was the Guest of honor for the event. H.E. has also built the Al Zarooni Mosque in KPK which is the largest Mosque in the entire region and released more than 500 Pakistani Prisoners in UAE jail which has been accredited by the Pakistan Embassy and the consulate in UAE.)

At the end UNODC National Goodwill Ambassador and singer Shehzad Roy gave his message on the World Drug Day and emphasized the need to have treatment facilities in the hospitals for drug addicts they are not criminals we all have to help them collectively”. He also sang a song which he especially made for the day.=DNA

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