Drug abuse – the plague of the century



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Drug abuse – the plague of the century



Drugs – both legal and illegal – have accompanied humans since the beginning of civilization. Unfortunately we can say now that drugs are the plague of our century. Caffeine, nicotine, alcohol – even they affect us so much that we find ourselves depending on a regular supply of them. The extent of dependence varies according to the person and the drug, but still it’s very difficult for most people to give up for example smoking or drinking tea or coffee. Because for them is the way of calming themselves down and relieving tension or the way of bucking themselves up, finding extra energy. These drugs become associated with their power to relieve certain feelings and a habit is formed. Stronger drugs – such as opiates and cocaine – can be habit forming in just the same way. People want to get the sensation of well-being and reliance increases, until eventionally dependence on a continual supply of the drug is established and an addictive habit is formed.

People who are addicted to drugs can be of any age or walk of life. Their reasons for taking drugs are as varied as the environments in which they live. In some cases, addiction will be life-long; in others, it may be a temporary phase which can be broken out of.

In order to help people to get rid of their, lets say “bad habbits”, governments make different drug policies. And there is now a clear trend toward greater emphasis on education and treatment, rather than repression. Several states have adopted new policies focused more on treatment and prevention rather than interdiction and prosecution. Governments think that the key to at least partial success is: 1) first of all to educate people. We need to teach ourselves and our children to live in our word and to be ready to resist all temptations that we have in our life. Of course at the level of government we have to maintain flexible policies and to adopt specific programs that have worked in other states but still not to forget that adopting a one-size-fits-all policy is as ineffective as the just say no to drugs approach because every country has its own peculiarities in this problem that’s why every state has to set their own strategies.

Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of government and police since the mid-1980s, illicit drug use of all types has increased across Europe and as the consequences the number of drug-related death in most European countries also increases.

Every year tobacco and alcohol kill thousands of people, new diseases as AIDS and hepatitis continue to rise sharply taking lives of millions of people.

We have to admit that with the prodigies of chemistry, there are so many new things and new substances will continue to appear on the market. That’s why it’s important to stay on top of trends, change policies when needed and above all, remain educated.

Drugs – both legal and illegal – have accompanied humans since the beginning of civilization. Unfortunately we can say now that drugs are the plague of our century. Caffeine, nicotine, alcohol – even they affect us so much that we find ourselves depending on a regular supply of them. The extent of dependence varies according to the person and the drug, but still it’s very difficult for most people to give up for example smoking or drinking tea or coffee. Because for them is the way of calming themselves down and relieving tension or the way of bucking themselves up, finding extra energy. These drugs become associated with their power to relieve certain feelings and a habit is formed. Stronger drugs – such as opiates and cocaine – can be habit forming in just the same way. People want to get the sensation of well-being and reliance increases, until eventionally dependence on a continual supply of the drug is established and an addictive habit is formed.

People who are addicted to drugs can be of any age or walk of life. Their reasons for taking drugs are as varied as the environments in which they live. In some cases, addiction will be life-long; in others, it may be a temporary phase which can be broken out of.

In order to help people to get rid of their, lets say “bad habbits”, governments make different drug policies. And there is now a clear trend toward greater emphasis on education and treatment, rather than repression. Several states have adopted new policies focused more on treatment and prevention rather than interdiction and prosecution. Governments think that the key to at least partial success is: first of all to educate people. We need to teach ourselves and our children to live in our word and to be ready to resist all temptations that we have in our life. Of course at the level of government we have to maintain flexible policies and to adopt specific programs that have worked in other states but still not to forget that adopting a one-size-fits-all policy is as ineffective as the just say no to drugs approach because every country has its own peculiarities in this problem that’s why every state has to set their own strategies.

But is the drug abuse so widely spread around the world? As estimated 16,6 million Americans (7,3 % of the population) abuse drugs and alcohol. In the EU the trends are also clear. According to the EU’s European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction, since the mid. 1980s illicit drug use of all types has increased across Europe, despite the fact that arrests for the sale and possession of drugs are also sharply up. The 10-year period from 1985 to 1995 also saw increases in the number of drug-related deaths in most European countries. The situation in the countries which lie on a special drug route, such as the so-called Silk Route from Central Asia or the Balkan Route, is even more alarming.

Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of government and police since the mid-1980s, illicit drug use of all types has increased across Europe and as the consequences the number of drug-related death in most European countries also increases.

Every year tobacco and alcohol kill thousands of people, new diseases as AIDS and hepatitis continue to rise sharply taking lives of millions of people.

We have to admit that with the prodigies of chemistry, there are so many new things and new substances will continue to appear on the market. That’s why it’s important to stay on top of trends, change policies when needed and above all, remain educated

According to the decision of the Minister of Education of the Republic of Belarus, primary prevention activities shall be conducted in educational establishments by distributing information on negative consequences of drug use, publishing brochures and other information materials with relevant content including posters, booklets etc. Lectures, workshops and seminars along with other educational events shall be held for schoolchildren, university students and staff, along with newspaper and radio coverage of the topic. A special course “Prevention of Drug Abuse and AIDS” has been introduced into the curriculum of universities, law schools and teacher training colleges.

In the last 3 years, altogether 12 textbooks have been published for students, teachers and medical specialists who work in the field of drug prevention both with adults and teenagers. The following prevention programmes have already been implemented in Belarus:

1. Social Security for the Low Income People

2. Providing Asistance to Families with HIV-positive Members

3. Family against Drug Abuse and AIDS

4. Choice

5. QUILT

6. Life Must Go on

7. Enhacing Capacity of NGOs and Coordinating their Efforts in Solving Problems of Young People of Svetlogorsk

8. Hotline

9. Choose the Future

A number of programs and projects are being implemented at present, including “Programme of Social and Psychological Rehabilitation of Drug Addicts”, “Social and Psychological Support of HIV-positive Women,” “Comprehensive Social and Psychological Assistance to Young People,” and “Development of the Programs of Social and Psychological Rehabilitation of Drug Users in Belarus.” The most active NGOs working in the field of drug abuse prevention include “Mothers Against Drugs,” “Positive Movement,” “Fialta,” and “Real World.”

Mothers Against Drugs (M.A.D.) is a non-governmental organization based in Minsk, the capital city of Belarus. The chief goal of M. A. D. is to mobilize parents (and especially mothers), educators, and community leaders to prevent their children from getting into the terrible tragedy of drug addiction, which today affects one fifth of all Belarusian families.

MAJOR AREAS OF WORK

1. Education: holding seminars and conferences for parents, teachers, students, and community leaders in schools and other public places; developing and distributing educational materials such as videos, pamphlets, books.

2. Referral: providing referral information about effective treatment, rehabilitation and counseling facilities operated by non-government and government organizations.

3. Self-Support Groups: establishing self-support groups of mothers and relatives of drug addicts (based on the Tough Love 12-Step Program).

4. Multiplication: establishing affiliates of the organization in all the major cities of Belarus.

 



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