Govt directs schools to form cells to check drug abuse

Kathmandu, June 16

The Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration has issued a circular to all 753 local levels, requesting them to form anti-drug cell in each school for raising awareness against the harmful effects of drug abuse among children and youths.

The government is preparing to mark the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking-2019 by organising various programmes, with special focus on school children. As part of the event, the government will conduct a week-long (June 20 to 26) awareness programmes, including rallies, workshops, public service announcements; interactions with schools and colleges and medical stores and cargo entrepreneurs.

The MoFAGA said its initiative of issuing the circular was prompted by a letter from the Ministry of Home Affairs. During the week-long campaign, anti-drug messages will be disseminated through media, including cinema halls. Television talk shows will also be held. Diminishing demand for drugs would automatically discourage the racketeers, according to the MoHA.

Nepal Police has stepped up vigil on the production, possession, storage, transportation and consumption of illicit drugs to end the social problem facing the country and save the young generation from drug abuse. According to the Narcotics Control Bureau, Nepal is being used by international drug trafficking rings as a transit to push hard drugs, including cocaine and heroin, to the destination countries while the growing abuse of psychoactive substances and injectable drugs had emerged as a big problem in the country. Teenagers account for the largest section of end users of pharmaceutical drugs as they are more accessible and affordable compared to the hard drugs.

The annual growth rate of drug users stands at 11.36 per cent, since 2007. A study conducted by the MoHA in 2013 showed that the number drug users nearly doubled to 91,534 in 2013 from 2007. Illegal trade and use of drugs has not only affected social and economic structures but also contributed to rise in crimes. Around 70 per cent of social crimes in the country are related to drug and alcohol addiction, according to statistics maintained by Nepal Police.

The law enforcement agency filed 3,088 cases against the traffickers in 2017-18 compared to 2,467 the previous fiscal, an increase by 22.35 per cent.