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AKEL on International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking


26th June 2021, AKEL C.C. Press Office, Nicosia

26th June has been designated by the United Nations as International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking to highlight the impact of drug use on the individual, public health and safety and on society in general.

The phenomenon of addiction is a psychosocial, multidimensional and multilevel problem that needs to be addressed through the implementation of a range of measures in the fields of prevention, treatment, social rehabilitation and enforcement. The main priority must be to prevent drug use and addictive behaviours. Art, culture and sport and their active involvement in social life are valuable tools for protecting children and young people. Preventive measures promoted must be equally accessible to all children, with particular emphasis and attention to children belonging to the vulnerable groups of the population or living in vulnerable areas.

At the same time, treatment must be accessible to all those who need it, and there should be a wide range of choices of treatment programmes that should provide opportunities for full rehabilitation when the individual is ready and asks for it. The removal of the stigma and social exclusion of users and addicts will play a crucial role in rehabilitation efforts, once the user is no longer seen as a criminal and treated as a person in need of help.

An important development is the legislation now also being applied in Cyprus to refer users who are arrested, subject to certain preconditions, to treatment instead of prison. At the same time, the specialised police anti-narcotic units must intensify their actions so that illegal substances are not easily accessible to children and young people, but also so that those in high positions in trafficking rings/gangs and organised crime are arrested and punished.

AKEL will continue to support in every way the Cyprus Addiction Treatment Authority for the implementation of a National Strategy, based on the respect for human rights, so that it can carry out its role as the supreme coordinating body on addictions to the fullest extent possible.

The State and the citizens of the country, parents, professionals and teachers have a collective duty to protect the young generation and inspire them, with our own way of life. Today more than ever, it is vital to protect and promote health, human rights and the well-being of humanity. We need to keep alive the right and hope of people to change both their lives and society.



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