KATHMANDU – Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs, Narayan Kaji Shrestha, has said combined efforts are needed to combat drug abuse and manage its multidimensional consequences.
In his address to a programme organised by the Ministry of Home Affairs here today observing the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking-2023, the Minister said the containment of drug abuse was necessary to advance towards a healthy, civilized and a prosperous society.
The Minister utilised the forum to say the government is committed to making the implementation of preventive measures against drug abuse and illicit trafficking more effective in coordination and cooperation with the entire State bodies. As he said, public awareness plays a significant role in prohibiting the drug abuse.
“It is urgent to forge a national unity against drug-related crime to pursue holistic development and prosperity of the nation, peace and order and the good governance,” the Home Minister said, adding that dedicated efforts from all quarters were vital to implement national policies and strategies and legal provisions against illegal drug use effectively.
Control and prevention of drug abuse is a multi-concerned issue and its production, supplies, storage, transportation and use should be regulated through mutual coordination and collaboration by preventing its abuse, according to the Minister who was of the opinion of undertaking the treatment of patients of substance abuse, their management and rehabilitation in the society as a campaign.
Home Secretary Dinesh Bhattarai said the drug abuse could result in severe health complications on the users, leading to the separation of a family and a rise in social disorder and financial crimes, posing a grave threat to security and thus it must be prevented.
National Youth Council Vice- Chair Surendra Basent said the role of an individual, society and the entire nation was necessary to discourage and contain the substance abuse.
June 26 each year is observed as the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking and this year it is marked with the theme of “People First: stop stigma and Discrimination, strengthen Prevention”. The United Nations General Assembly had decided on December 7, 1987, to observe June 26 as the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.
There are 130,424 drug abusers in the country, according to data with the Ministry. The police arrested 4,220 people in drug abuse cases as of the Nepali month of Chaitra, 2079 BS (mid March-mid April, 2023), and drug abuse cases have made up 20.73 percent of the total crime cases. Five thousand nine hundred eleven people have been serving term in prison in drug abuse cases, and around 5,000 drug abusers have been in rehabilitation centres.
Awareness programmes were organised, videos played, plays and dances performed, and poems recited with the involvement of the police, Armed Police Force and students.
On the occasion, DPM Shrestha handed appreciation letters to security forces and various organisations for their contribution to control drug abuses.
Prior to this, a morning procession was taken out spreading awareness about drug abuses. The procession that originated from Bhrikutimandap went through Bhadrakali Temple and Bhrikutimandap before concluding at the City Hall.
The procession was participated by DPM and Home Minister Shrestha, Home Secretary Dinesh Bhattarai, Inspector General of Police Basanta Bahadur Kunwar, Inspector General of Armed Police Force Raju Aryal, high ranking officials of the Ministry and students.