Pursuant to Presidential Proclamation No. 124 dated November 26, 2001 Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Week will be observed on November 13-19, 2011 with the theme “Global Action for Healthy Communities Without Drugs.”
This observance aims to make people aware of the dangers posed by drug abuse, and to further strengthen their resolve to do their she in the fight against this menace.
[Read more at: Affordable Cebu]
Let me get to this straight: drug addiction brings absolutely no good to anyone. Dependence by individuals and even communities directly or indirectly to prohibited drugs is outright detrimental to them, if not now, then in the long-run.
How do people become drug-dependent?
According to common knowledge, the primary and only way by which people become dependent to illegal drugs is through substance dependence. This biological and psychological condition is characterized by repetitive and irrepressible use of such substances to a point that the affected person suffers a “withdrawal syndrome” when circumstances make him unable to take that drug. These people have grown so accustomed to the use of such illegal substances (which may be in the form of stimulants, depressants, barbiturates, and many others) that their bodies malfunction if they are not able to take it during a certain period of time. They can be cured by slow detachment from the substance they are addicted to, which may be done by slowly decreasing the dose of the drug and/or the frequency by which they take it. Other therapies and rehabilitation programs may be done in conjunction with this.
Next, people can also be dependent on illegal drugs through more indirect ways such as economic and political ones. I’m talking about people working for drug lords. I’m talking about drug lords, dealers, and pushers themselves. I’m talking about large Drug Cartels that hold entire governments by the neck. I’m talking about people who live by the blood money that oozes out from the drug trade. These people are dependent on drugs not (only) through its direct biological effects but (also) through its more indirect and subtle yet equally deadly effects and reaches. Some of these people have entire families to feed, and the only means by which they could do so is through participating in the drug trade. However in the process of doing so, they not only destroy other people’s lives but also put that of their loved ones at risk. Some, still, do this for the accretion of power. Large organizations called drug cartels operate large drug manufacturing and distributing networks across countries in Central America and elsewhere. They even hold power in such areas due to the funding they give to government officials which in turn use these funds to secure high positions of power. This is the grim extent of the drug trade across the globe.
Now let’s look at the Philippine situation.
According to the 2010 annual reportof the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), Methamphetamine or “Shabu” is still the most abused drug in the country, followed by Marijuana. The involvement of women and minors in the drug trade has worsened compared to previous years’ data. 16% of drug personalities in 2010 were women (compared to 15% in 2009) and 86 minors have been identified to be involved in drug trafficking (compared to 62 in 2009). 36% of inmates nationwide are jailed because of drug-related cases. Of the drug personalities arrested, 58% were underemployed and 21% were unemployed, thus showing the link of drugs and poverty.
In short, the drug trade – the drug menace as a whole continues to choke the nation’s growth, safety, and prosperity.
It’s quite alarming that the youth are increasingly being involved in the drug trade. This connotes the decreasing extent of the government’s – and society’s – protection of the “hope of the future.” Thus, it is a wise decision to increase the information base of the youth regarding the drug menace and how to stay away from it through such activities as this Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Week which will highlight several school activities.
Emphasis has been placed on sustaining healthy communities without drugs, something which might at first glance seem commonsensical but is actually something hard to achieve without the full cooperation of all people concerned – that is, everyone. It is also good to hear that the SKs do participate in the promotion of such activities as sports which are effective at diverting the youth’s attention away from the lure of drug abuse.
However, no matter how much effort we put into this fight against drugs, it would all be in vain if fought alone. This is a collective battle that must be fought by everyone concerned – that is, everyone. That’s why this drug abuse prevention and control week calls for global action. We need to eradicate the drug menace not only from the Philippines but also, and most importantly, in the whole world.
The world is better off without illegal drugs. Let’s all build a bright, drug-free, sustainable future. For what’s more addictive than genuine, drug-free prosperity, eh?