The Substance Abuse Prevention Division, in the Ministry of Health, Social Transformation , Consumer Affairs and Local Government will be embarking on a series of activities to mark International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking on June 26.
The International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1987 as an expression of its determination to strengthen action and cooperation to achieve the goal of an international society free of drug abuse.
Mrs. Norma Jeffrey-Dorset, Substance Abuse Prevention Officer in the Substance Abuse Prevention Division, said the department is continuing to lead the way with the development of activities to educate the public, specifically women and youth, about the negative ripple effects of substance abuse and drug trafficking.
To this end, a series of sensitization programs has been planned to commemorate the day on various media houses. A joint message on the occasion of International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking will be issued by the Hon. Willmoth Daniel, Minister of Health, Social Transformation, Consumer Affairs and Local Government; and Senator the Hon. Malaka Parker, Parliamentary Secretary in that ministry with responsibility for Health, Social Transformation, Consumer Affairs and Local Government.
Although several interviews will be scheduled throughout the day, the highlight will be the national addresses by the Minister and his Parliamentary Secretary. Other activities will include the sharing of experience by a special guest on the OBSERVER radio’s Voice of the People, and other media appearances by the Minister, the Parliamentary Secretary, the Substance Abuse Prevention Officer and other members of staff of the Substance Abuse Prevention Division.
The continuing theme for this year’s observance of the day is Health, so focus will be placed on the health and social consequences of Substance Abuse.
To this end, The Substance Abuse Prevention Division will develop several Public Service Announcements (PSAs) to aid their prevention efforts. The PSAs will be disseminated through the Ministry of Information’s New Media One and the Substance Abuse Prevention Division, and are expected to run beyond the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. The information drive will highlight the social and other factors that influence drug trafficking, and illustrate the social consequences of drug abuse and drug trafficking.
“Drug abuse and illicit trafficking have serious implications for national development. They are a threat to national security and impose heavy financial and other burdens on our legal and health care systems. Drug abuse and drug trafficking destroy families; and as we all know, drugs and crime go hand in hand,” said Mrs. Jeffrey-Dorset.
Internationally, the day has been observed annually since 1988 on 26th June.