Awareness programme on drug abuse on cards

Kathmandu, June 18:

Saarathi Nepal (SN), a national community-based organisation working for the People Living With HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) and drug users, is organising an awareness programme at Basantapur Dabali on June 26. Through the programme, the SN aims to make community leaders and their families aware of disadvantages of drug abuse.

The programme is part of an anti-drug campaign being organised by the SN to mark the World Anti-Drug Abuse Day (WADAD).

Rabi Krishna Shrestha, coordinator of the SN, said, “Through pamphleting and postering, we will raise awareness among the community on the disadvantages of drugs.

“Former drug users will also perform a street drama at the programme,” Shrestha added. “We just want to make people aware about the role that teachers, families and society at large can play to control drug abuse.”

“We are going to organise the mass-based programme for the first time. With the slogan ‘to be aware is to be alive’, we will lauch a door-to-door campaign to offer counselling.”

‘Do drug control, save life - your community no place for drugs’ is the slogan for this year’s World Anti-Drug Abuse Day.

Shrestha said that over 25 organisations working for the PLWHA and drug users will be taking part in the Basantapur programme to make people aware of effects of drug abuse and advise people on preventive measures. Addiction is a disease but not a crime, he said, calling on people to quit drug addiction, not drug addicts.

On the same day, Helping Hands will organise a motorcycle rally from Bouddha to Basantapur and distribute pamphlets with messages against drug abuse. According to Shrestha, there are around 90,000 drug users in Nepal and a majority of them are injecting drug users (IDUs). A survey conducted last year showed that five out of 10 IDUs were HIV positive in Nepal on an average. In the Kathmandu valley, seven out of 10 IDUs were found to be HIV positive.