Nepal | October 28, 2020

MoHA issues guideline to curb drug abuse across the country

Himalayan News Service
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Kathmandu, May 26

The Ministry of Home Affairs has issued ‘Guideline to Local Levels for Control and Prevention of Drug Abuse,’ to ensure that all municipalities and rural municipalities conduct remedial and promotional activities against growing abuse of psychoactive substances.

As per the guidelines, local levels shall launch anti-drug campaign in line with the federal and provincial laws and policies. Existing law has defined production, transportation, sale and distribution, storage and use of drugs as a punishable crime.

“Most of the drug users are youths and it is the need of the hour to keep them away from drug abuse to realise the theme of ‘Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepali.’ Therefore, the campaign will focus on cities and villages to raise awareness on social, economic and psychological impacts of drug and alcohol abuse,” it read.

The guideline requires every local level to form a 13-member committee, led by its chief. The committee will consist of representatives of youths, students, women, civil society and police force. It shall maintain a tight vigil to prevent production, smuggling, possession, sale, distribution and consumption of drugs. The country has a total of 753 local levels with 6,743 wards.

The campaign will cover over 250 million population.

The guideline has stressed the need to overcome social and economic impact of drug abuse. It warned that drug abuse adversely affects health and life of the abusers, and the social well-being of the concerned family and community.

Types of drugs abused by people have changed over decades, from cannabis to synthetic opiates, and chemical substances. Also, the mode of drug abuse has changed from smoking or ingesting to injecting, which has become one of the major causes of HIV/AIDS infection.

Factors such as curiosity or desire for an experimentation, desire for fun or peer pressure, family problem and study problem, are leading youth to drug abuse, it stated. The annual growth rate of drug users since 2007 has remained 11 per cent.

Growing abuse of psychoactive substances and injectable drugs has surfaced as a big problem in Nepal.

As the youths, who are the pillar of the nation, are increasingly becoming victims of drug abuse, the government has taken this issue seriously, it read.

A version of this article appears in print on May 27, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

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