Losing battle

Drug abuse knows no boundary. What makes it even more tragic is that the addicted are mostly youths. This has telling effects on the economies particularly of developing countries, for youths are the most productive segment in all societies, not to talk about what it has on them such as juvenile delinquency and the resulting strife. Despite all efforts being made to eradicate substance abuse, we are fighting a losing battle as the number of those falling prey to drug addiction is on the rise. Nepal, too, has an ever growing number of victims of drug abuse. Frustration amongst the youth, for which society is partly to be blamed, and also peer pressure entice innocent young people to experiment with drugs, which are some of the major reasons for this malady. The government alone cannot successfully carry out campaigns to deal with drug abuse. There are many NGOs working for the rehabilitation of drug addicts in the country, but these are not sufficient to accommodate the increasing number of drug addicts. A matter of serious concern is that the rehabilitation centres alone are not able to wean the drug addicts and they return to drugs once they are out of the treatment centre, and that is attributed to lack of support from their families and the society.

The drug addicts should be treated in a humane manner and receive all possible support for they are desperately in need of them. We find many of them put into prison when they should be put in rehabilitation centres. However, it must be remembered that it is best to treat their addiction in a friendly environment, which only a home and such other places can provide. A survey shows that about 38 per cent of

inmates in Nepal use drugs. This figure is worth delving into and shows that many of those addicted to drugs have been imprisoned, for society and authorities are unable to deal with them. The question that can be raised here is as to how the drugs reach the

inmates. Clearly, this shows illegal dealing in drugs is taking place even in these high security places, not to talk about the streets, with the involvement of people in high places and drug traffickers in this illegal enterprise.

It is found the authorities have made only half-hearted efforts to control the peddling of drugs. The drug peddlers and traffickers are able to carry out their clandestine activities with virtual impunity. Although most countries in the world have strict laws against drug trafficking, this has not succeeded in deterring the traffickers. The trafficking takes place on a global scale, and this is getting increasingly sophisticated at avoiding detection from even the state of the art security checks. Since drug addiction is a global phenomenon, the international community should work in unison in order to deal with the scourge. This requires commitment from all concerned, and only then will some headway be made in this direction in the ultimate bid to eradicate it. As of now, these efforts have not been successful. According to a recent report by the United Nations, the global campaign against drug abuse is becoming unsuccessful. This calls for concerted efforts to deal with this spreading scourge in a more effective manner.