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July 03, 2020

Curbing drug menace is everybody’s concern

Over US$839 million worth of seized narcotic drugs were destroyed yesterday to mark the annual International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.
The amount of this year’s seizure increased by almost three times of its value compared to last year. It reflects the Union Government’s commitment to continuing unremitting and decisive anti-drug efforts. To ensure that the current momentum of tasks does not slow down, all stakeholders are earnestly urged to join with the Union Government in its efforts in the fight against narcotic drugs. In fact, if we do not collaborate and successfully combat the drug problem today, our country will face a severe and drastic situation in the coming decade. Why? Drug use among the youth is rising. Statistics indicate that drug users make up 75 per cent of the youth population in Magway.
This situation has rung an alarm bell to authorities in other regions and states. If we cannot eradicate the drug problem in our country, our efforts for the development of youth, their health and education, will be in vain.
The new drug control policy considers drug use a health issue rather than a criminal one as putting drug users behind bars has socioeconomic implications for their families.
It does not encourage drug use but alert drug users to receive treatment and their families must cooperate and help them get treatment.
The new drug policy comes after a spike in drug seizures from 2008 to 2018, and the law amending the 1993 Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Law was also enacted in February, 2018. The 1993 Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Law considered drug use a crime and prescribed an eight-year sentence for it. But, the drug problem in Myanmar continued to worsen. As the Union Government is tirelessly combating drug abuse and disseminating news on the matter to the public regularly, all concerned officials must increase the pace of handling drug abuse cases by considering it a national-level duty.
When it comes to fighting narcotic drugs, officials must adhere to existing laws, bylaws, regulations and police ethics when handling drug issues and confiscating evidence and ensure swift management in line with court orders.
To seize drugs further and to arrest drugs dealers, people are earnestly urged to inform the Ministry of Home Affairs, region and state governments and to inform huge cases of drug trafficking and other suspicious cases directly to the Drug Activity Special Complaint Department of the Office of the President via the following contact numbers:
Contacts: Landline No. — 067-590200, Fax Phone No. — 067-590233, Email Address — [email protected]

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