International day against drug abuse and illict drug trafficking

Briefing-points by Premier Hazel Jenkins at the occasion of the international day against drugs, 26 June 2009, Roodepan Multipurpose Centre

Progamme Director

Executive Mayor Mr. Patrick everyday

MEC for Social Services and Population Development

Members of the Roodepan Community

We are assembled here to mark the international day against Drug Abuse and unlawful Trafficking as an expression of our determination to strengthen action and cooperation to achieve the goal of an international society free of drug abuse.

We are also here to make a clarion call to all our youth to refrain from taking drugs and misusing alcohol as it is very harmful to their health and has the potential to destroy their young lives.

Teenagers and young adults are particularly vulnerable to using illicit drugs. The prevalence of drug use among young people is more than twice as high as that among the general population. At this age, peer pressure to experiment with unlawful drugs can be strong and self-esteem is often low.

We will do well to remember that on this particular day 54 yrs ago the blueprint for a future South Africa, the FREEDOM CHARTER was adopted. As the occasion would also come to be known as the people’s expression of their collective experience and wisdom.

Change had to come, because there was no way the injustices of national oppression of blacks by whites as a product of Colonial occupation could be left unchallenged, and at the same time the charter stood for the destruction of white monopoly capital.

This is also a period through which we as country observe youth month, reflecting on the courageous, heroic and brilliant acts and contributions of our past and current youth leaders and activists, both politically and society in general.

Programme Director,

It is for this reason that we are taking drug abuse and alcohol misuse very seriously as it mostly affects young people, destroying their future and leading to destruction of their families.

Indeed, drug use and alcohol abuse is a grave problem in our society that can be prevented, treated and controlled. While efforts must be stepped up to reduce its spread and supply – we must ensure that our law enforcement agencies continue their good work in seizing drugs.

Also, those who take drugs tend to be either misinformed or insufficiently aware of the health risks involved. As drug abuse also increases the risk of contracting HIV/AIDS and other diseases through needle sharing and risky sexual practices, because it affects their sense of proper judgment. Crime and violence becomes also rampant amongst youth that are taking drugs and abusing alcohol.

Proigramme Director,

The international campaign "Do drugs control your life? Your community. No place for drugs" communicates that the destructive effects of illicit drugs concern us all. Their use harms individuals, families and society at large. Drugs control the body and mind of individual consumers, the drug crop and drug cartels control farmers, trafficking and crime control communities.

Our Government remains committed to taking action against illicit drugs because of their devastating impact on individuals, families, communities and society as a whole. Our mission is to enable them to take control of their lives.

As part of our commitment to stem the tide against the abuse, we have implemented a number of strategies such as the Prevention and Treatment of Substance Abuse Local Drug Action Committees in the province, bringing to 27 Local drug Action Committees.

The Local Drug Action Committees will receive increased support from the Department of Social Services and Population Development to ensure that Supply reduction, demand reduction and harm reduction happens in an inter-sectoral and coordinated manner

The number of prevention programs will increase to 482 programs. The quality of prevention programs will be addressed through the development of models and the assessment of implementation. The umber of schools were the Ke Moja program ( I am fine without drugs) is implemented will be increased from 68 to 123 schools.


The department has also trained 56 Social Work Professionals on fetal alcohol syndrome. Training was provided to 48 service providers in the Districts and 64 service providers at Provincial Office. Training focused on the identification of drugs, its effects, and phases of substance abuse, skills and appropriate interventions. The training also included the effects of Foetal Alcohol Syndrome on families, and substance abuse counseling skills.

Programme Director,

It is important that we give young people sound guidance, employment opportunities and the chance to be involved in activities that help organize their lives and give it meaning and value. It means reaching out to the marginalized groups and ensuring they receive the care they need to cope with behavioural psychological and medical problems.

Leading a healthy lifestyle requires making choices that are respectful of body and mind.

To make these choices, young people need guidance from role models and need to get the facts about drug use. The international campaign provides young people and others with tools to educate themselves about the health risks associated with unlawful drug use.

All walks of life must join forces and devote special attention to the vulnerable : to those that are vulnerable to taking drugs because of their personal or family situation, and to those who are vulnerable because they take drugs

Each of us as Parents, Brothers, Sisters, Uncles, Aunts, Teachers, Religious and Community Leaders, Members of the media, Government Employees, including health care workers, local authorities and law enforcement officials has a responsibility to children and youth in our communities to ensure they grow up in a society free of drugs.

Your individual actions each and every day will help our children remain drug free.

Let us all ensure that there is no place for drugs in our lives or our communities.

I thank you.

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