South Africa: Drug Abuse Can Be Prevented, Treated, Controlled

By Lunar Loops · Jun 29, 2007 ·
  1. Lunar Loops
    Well that is all very well Mr Moon, but what all about all of those people (the majority) who use and not abuse drugs and hold down perfectly respectable jobs and pose no threat to themselves or society? The language used is always of the addict, the poor old addict who is helpless under the influence of the evil drugs, they are ruining their lives and the lives of others, we must be free of this scourge.....anyway, rant over, this from :

    South Africa: Drug Abuse Can Be Prevented, Treated, Controlled

    BuaNews (Tshwane)
    29 June 2007
    Posted to the web 29 June 2007


    Drug abuse is a problem that can be prevented, treated and controlled, says United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
    His message was read out by General Joshua Hamidu, the Chairman of Ghana's Narcotics Control Board (NACOB), at the national celebration to commemorate International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking at Takoradi, the capital of Western Region.
    Mr Ki-moon said the greatest challenge in global drug control was reducing the demand.
    "With less of a demand, there would be less need for supply and fewer incentives for criminals to traffic drugs," he said.
    He said efforts also had to be stepped up to reduce the supply by helping growers of illicit crops find viable legal alternatives and law enforcement agencies needed to continue their good work in seizing drugs.
    Mr Ki-moon said combating drug abuse was a collective effort and required political leadership and sufficient resources, particularly for more and better treatment facilities.
    Drug abuse also required the engagement of parents and teachers as well as health care and social workers, the media and criminal justice officials to play their part.
    He said all walks of life had to join forces and devote special attention to those who were vulnerable to taking drugs because of their personal or family situations.
    "Our mission is to enable them to take control of their lives rather than allowing their lives to be controlled by drugs," he added.
    That meant giving young people sound guidance, employment opportunities and the chance to be involved in activities which would help them organise their lives and give it meaning and value.
    It meant supporting parents' efforts in providing love and leadership, reaching out to marginalised groups and ensuring they received the care they needed to cope with behavioural, psychological or medical problems and providing reasons for them to have hope.
    He said for those who are grappling with addiction, effective treatment is essential and that drug abuse was a disease which must be treated on the basis of evidence, not ideology.
    Mr Ki-moon urged UN member states to devote more attention to early detection, to do more to prevent the spread of diseases particularly HIV and hepatitis through drug use, to treat all forms of addiction and to integrate drug treatment into the mainstream of public health and social services.
    Drug abuse brings anguish and torment to individuals and their loved ones and eats away at the fabric of the human being, he said.
    "It is a subject all of us must take personally. On this International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, let us ensure there is no place for drugs in our lives or our communities," Mr Ki-moon concluded.
    Each year the international community, including South Africa, observes 26 June as the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.
    This year's theme was "Drug Control", with the slogan, "Do drugs control your life?"
    According to the UN 2007 Drug Report, opiate (a drug containing opium) use has continued to rise in Africa, especially countries of eastern and southern Africa, particularly Kenya, Mozambique and Tanzania, have reported large increases in heroin abuse in recent years.
    An increase in opiate abuse has also been reported by South Africa and a number of countries in West Africa, said the report.
    The increase in Africa was the second highest after Asia, and Africa is now slightly above the global average on the drug use perception indicator.
    According to the report the upward trend over the last decade was best documented by the South African Community Epidemiology Network on Drug Use (SACENDU).
    The report stated heroin accounted for less than one percent of treatment demand (including alcohol) in 1996.
    "By the first two quarters of 2006 this proportion increased to seven percent," the report said.
    It also noted over the last few years, there had been a large increase in treatment admissions for heroin as the primary drug of abuse in the Western Cape region (Cape Town), Gauteng (Pretoria and Johannesburg), Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal (Durban, Pietermaritzburg).
    Preliminary data for the third and fourth quarters of 2006 suggested the increase was particularly pronounced in Gauteng and in KwaZulu-Natal.

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