The Ministry of Defence, National Security and Policing in collaboration with key stakeholders and NGO’s will be organizing the UN International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking that is celebrated yearly worldwide on 26 June.
The theme for this year’s celebration is “Better Knowledge for Better Care”. The commemoration for this event will be held at the Tanoa Waterfront Hotel in Lautoka today .
The Minister for Defence, National Security and Policing Hon Inia Seruiratu will officiate in the commemoration of the UN International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.
Preluding the main celebration today the Ministry with the assistance of Fiji Police Drugs Unit, the Substance Abuse Advisory Council (SAAC), Drug Free World (DFW) Fiji and Youth Empire volunteer group in Lautoka will organize an extensive awareness campaign from this week covering the District (Tikina) of Vuda and Vitogo including informal settlements and communities within the two Districts. The intention of the outreach is to raise awareness on the harmful effects of hard drugs based on the information received on the prevalent of such drugs in Lautoka.
The unemployment impacts brought upon by the COVID 19 pandemic will trigger the increase in drug trade particularly for those looking to earn a quick income. Resorting to the sale of hard drugs such as methamphetamine (meth) and other illegal substances will be their only relief hence the need for community engagement and ‘Talanoa’.
The abuse of drugs is becoming a worldwide public health issue especially meth, and has found its way into Pacific Island nations, including Fiji. In addition, St. Giles Hospital, for instance, has reported increase in the number of patients suffering from mental illnesses due to drug abuse. Massive community awareness is important to help educate the public of the harmfulness of getting addicted to these drugs.