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Editorial: Public Help Needed To Stem Rise in Drugs Abuse

The multiplier effect of drugs does not only affect the individual who is hooked on it but their families and friends as well. It also affects government resources where the money used could have been spent more wisely elsewhere.
26 Feb 2019 13:45
Editorial: Public Help Needed To Stem Rise in Drugs Abuse
Hard drugs allegedly sold on the street. Photo: Fiji Police Media Cell

The seizure of dangerous drugs such as methamphetamine and cocaine, in large amounts and equipment that was actually used in making one of these drugs is indeed a worrying sign.

The haul in Suva, a week ago, which had a street value of $31 million and from a foreigner and then the incident in Nadi involving a businessman and the equipment he had should send some worrying signs on the escalation of the illicit drug trade.

Along with this, Police raids on marijuana farms around Fiji show that these drug farmers and peddlers have scant regard for the law and will put up a fight rather than see their farms raided.

Police Commissioner Brigadier General Sitiveni Qiliho and his drug squads have been doing all they can to stem this sudden rise in drugs, especially, methamphetamine and cocaine.

The multiplier effect of drugs does not only affect the individual who is hooked on it but their families and friends as well. It also affects government resources where the money used could have been spent more wisely elsewhere.

You hear of problems everyday with families who have one person hooked on drugs – valuable things and money go missing.

These either end up in pawn shops or just sold down the street to someone with the money received going towards fulfilling one’s craving for another stash of drugs.

It would be interesting how much our Police force spends towards fighting the drug trade.

Then we have the case of children of drug users who are often at the centre of abuse or neglect because the craving for drugs has tightened its grip on the individual and family becomes secondary in order of importance.

Here are some hard facts that all parents should take heed of, considering the rise in the seizure of methamphetamine.

Studies, according to the National Drug Intelligence Centre of the United States, have shown that children whose parents and other family members abuse drugs are often physically or emotionally abused.

NDIIC says methamphetamine abusers often produce the drug in their own homes and apartments, using hazardous chemicals such as hydriodic acid, iodine, and anhydrous ammonia.

Children who inhabit such homes often inhale dangerous chemical fumes and gases or ingest toxic chemicals or illicit drugs.

Moreover, because many methamphetamine producers also abuse the drug, children commonly suffer from neglect that leads to psychological and developmental problems.

We must remember that these people will not stop at anything, even if it means breaking up a good family to see their trade prosper.

Kudos to all villages that have been helping Police locate drug farms around the country.

The nightclub in Nadi where the equipment to make drugs was allegedly found was probably known to many but they all kept quiet.

It is about time we think of our families and decide the world we want them to grow up in.

Let us all lend our Police force a hand in fighting this scourge.

Feedbackcharles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

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