Drugs abuse and illicit trafficking – New generation’s ultimate choice

Aunupana sharma

Growing trend of drug abuse and illicit trafficking is the major concern of today’s era. The International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking is observed on June 26 annually since 1989 to raise awareness about drug abuse and illegal drug trade.

The day observed by the UN was instituted by General Assembly Resolution 42/112 on December 7, 1987. According to the UN, the day is “as an expression of its determination to strengthen action and cooperation to achieve the goal of an international society free of drug abuse”.

The theme for the 2020 International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking is “Better Knowledge for Better Care”. The theme throws light on how there is a need to improve the understanding related to the world drug problem Substance abuse and drug trafficking is an evil in our society and disorientation among a majority of the youth. The global observance aims to raise awareness regarding the major problem that illicit drugs represent to society.

Despite of all these efforts, youths are found to be induced on drug abuse vigorously .The report presented by Department of Health services shows that more than 90 percent of the total drug addicts in Nepal have started using drugs prior to the age of 16.

The large numbers of drug addicts have been found to be between the ages of 16 to 20.The abuse of drugs has led not only to drug addiction but also to the incidence of HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B, and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Heroin addicts and other intravenous drug users (IDUs) have been found to be more vulnerable to contracting these diseases. Among 60 thousand drug abusers, the number of IDUs is estimated to be 20 thousand. Sixty eight percent of these IDUs are HIV positive and most of them are multidrug abusers. Among IDUs, alcohol use is often associated with unprotected sex. Consumption of alcohol and marijuana boost sexual activity and reduce the use of condom. Before 1996, there were no reports or records of HIV-positive cases in Nepal, but by the end of the same year, nine HIV-positive cases had been detected. In early 2003, 1,940 HIV-positive and AIDS cases were recorded. Among the known cases, 213 are IDUs.

Not even medical profession has been spared out of it.The research conducted among medical students in Kathmandu Valley shows prevalence of use of any substances is 60.3%. A study conducted in general medical college in Kathmandu shows 32.4% of students have tried different types of drugs among which 57.6% accounts alcohol ,27.6 accounts tobacco and 12.8 % accounts cannabis. The economic crisis, politics and Hindu traditions are boosting the illegal drug trade with India, China, Arab countries, Europe and the US.

A Nepal police report said that in 2011, thousands of poor and unemployed Nepalese have become drug couriers to feed their families. Women and children are especially chosen by traffickers to carry shipments abroad. Although Nepal is not a big producer of hashish, opium and marijuana, its geographic position has made it a favourite destination for international drug traffickers.

A government report found that 46,000 Nepalis are drug addicts, 17,000 in Kathmandu alone. However, the figure does not take into account habitual users of cannabis and opium.
Narconon, an international anti-drug organisations, estimates that the country has about 150,000 drug addicts, 64 per cent under the age of 30.

Anti-drug activities slam the authorities for minimising its import and turning a blind eye on drug use and trade at Hindu religious festivals .Misintrepretation of Hindu tradition, youths are enjoying cannabis in the name of Lord Shiva.Street children have not been spared from abuse.

When the children get abandoned from the home then they are found to be involved in glue sniffing.According to Narconon Nepal, a group of 12 children may go through eight tubes of Dendrite each day.

प्रकाशित मिति: June 26, 2020