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06th-Sep-2018

Strategy for public awareness against drug abuses

By

Dr. Forqan Uddin Ahmed :
Drug abuses have become a worldwide problem which is threatening the basic pillars of any society. No age or social level is exempted from this curse. This problem may even threaten the national security. Rich or poor, young or old, literate or illiterate are all equally vulnerable. This is not urban or semi-urban problem only but it is threatening rural areas also an extremely rampant in border areas of Bangladesh. Drug problem is a complex Psycho-Social problem with multiple factors drug users and socio-cultural environment impede the socio-economic development of a country. The drug abuse problem is the problem of the people and not of the drug. It is the deliberate, indiscriminate use of any drug or substance which may seriously damage health, his ability to function effectively in the society.
The drug education programme to generate public awareness against drug abuse both at public and individual level will effectively provide primary prevention by reducing drug demand and facilitate other measures against abuse. It is essential to create public awareness against drug abuse which is needed to fight against the problem. All the relevant government agencies and non-government agencies like Rotary Club, Lions Club, Red Crescent Anti drug association, Mental Health associations and Narcotic Federations etc. should combine their efforts with various religious organization including women and parents organization to disseminate knowledge regarding drugs to all levels of the society. Increase of public awareness against drug abuse is only possible of the combined efforts of everybody is directed to create awareness at all levels of people including the target groups.
Educational Strategies are essential to provide anti drug message when individual is young, so that it becomes part of one's conscience or super-ego.
This can be done by including anti drug messages in the school curriculum. Students in early life should receive anti drug message in the schools as part of usual educational programme.
Lecture-discussion, Brain Storming session, group discussions, value clarification, Debates, Field trips and workshop or seminars are all methods to be used in the educational programmes regarding drug abuse for the school children. Counseling, Interviews, Home visits and hot lines may provide information at the individual level regarding various aspects of drug. Lecture/Discussion in various forums. Symposia, Meeting, Seminars workshop, Religious meetings and Community assemblies may be used to provide anti-drug information to large groups.
Posters, Pamphlets, Leaflets, Flyers and Comic Strips, Newspaper, Magazines and Bill boards are effective Mass media in creating Mass awareness regarding drug and its harmful effects on physical health and personality. Television, Radio, Video Recordings, Slides, Film Scripts and Cinema are useful methods to spread anti-drug information to increase public awareness effectively.
Television and Radios are nowadays available in remote villages with large number of listeners and viewers so that this media can reach anti-drug messages to every home. Folk songs, Jari songs, Gombhira, Jatra etc. depicting anti-drug message can effectively penetrate rural mind and they are useful tools in spreading anti-drug message to the rural people.
It is told that it is not a social crime like any other crime.
So, it must be prevented and preventive measures should be taken from family side form society and every society should take it as a social campaign and under the umbrella of this campaigning program, necessary warnings must be given so that the initial step is stopped. Moreover every family guardians must be very alert & conscious so that it cannot spread to their living campus. Govt. must take preventive measures like training, workshop, seminar, rally etc.
Govt. must also take other measures like employment of youths to different sectors, so that the youths do not get derailed from life. Govt. also takes step for vocational education and to develop skill to be highly categorized to technical education.   Besides there should be a good provision of religious education by which norms, values and ethics are established. The trained Imams & religious teachers can motivate the youths & general people on family relationship also.
With this end in view, different counseling centers must be set up in different areas and above all, the rule of law is a must for its improvement.
In this regard, recently govt. is in a hard-line for punitive action against the alleged drug channels. It is reported from various newspapers that there are a good number of drug suppliers who are mainly from women community. Actually the women are manhandled or misguided by others. The women are guided by others. Now it is necessary to identify the other guides.
The other guides may belong to members of civil society, elite class and even may belong to strong political party. He may be a godfather or blueprint maker of drug channeling and trafficking but those culprits must be brought to book. They must not be spared. Drug abuse is increasing worldwide. It is essential to identify preventive strategies of which generating public awareness against drug abuse in important.
Although there is no single easy method of communications of information regarding drug abuse but combine efforts relevant to the socio-economic condition, level of literacy and understanding may be helpful in increasing awareness and thereby assist in the primary prevention of drug abuse in the country.