By Staff Reporter
In celebration of the commemoration of the International Day against Alcohol Abuse and Drug Trafficking, Deputy Minister of Health and Social Services Petrina Haingura has called on the Namibian Government and public to address the phenomenal trend threatening mankind.
The International day against Drug Abuse is celebrated every year on June 26, following the declaration adopted at the International Conference against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Trafficking in 1987. This year’s theme was celebrated under the banner “Don’t let drugs control your life”.Haingura was speaking at the official launch of the Etegameno Rehabilitation and Resource Centre (ERRC), a government institution at Okuryangava in Katutura yesterday, when she call upon all stakeholders and public to reaffirm their commitment to address drug abuse in their communities.
Haingura said substance abuse is one of the major concerns in the country, which is not restricted to social class or single religion but is a global problem with staggering economic and social costs.“Drug abuse and illicit trafficking in drugs are amongst the greatest threats to mankind today. When abused, narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances become a force of evil and destroy the lives of thousands and jeopardize the security and stability of nations.
“Despite increased effort by the world community to combat the illicit use, production and trafficking of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances and consumption have spread at an epidemic rate reaching every corner of the globe.It is imperative that we continue to take prompt and decisive actions to eliminate drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking from within our midst.” Haingura said.
She called for the trend to be addressed in a threefold perspective such as interdiction, prevention and treatment as none of the intervention alone is sufficient but effective when combined.
“Drug dependence is a complex human and societal phenomenon and must be addressed. These three folds do not reduce the amount of drugs that are available but they do prevent initial use and results in a drug dependant becoming drug free.
She added that said the Ministry has since adopted long term prevention strategy –The Coalition on Reduction of Harmful Drinking – that focuses on preventative education, public awareness and community action and rehabilitation of drug addicts.
“Through the ERRC, it will focus on integrated service delivery model, where Government, community based organization and non governmental organization will provide comprehensive services,” said Haingura
Minister Haingura endorsed the Governments commitment to international efforts to free the world of illicit drugs.
“We understand that the drug problems are very complex and that it cannot be easily resolved over night. Despite these challenges, we should and will continue to campaign fro a drug free society and encourage a healthy lifestyle for the benefit of all human kind,” The Deputy said.