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Purpose for the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking

Purpose of the Day for the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking by the MEC of Social Development Ms C Chotelo

Wednesday 26 June 2013 – Mittah Seperepere Convention Centre Kimberley

Ladies and Gentleman

Our major responsibility as a government is to create awareness and come-up with preventative mechanisms. And one of these awareness campaigns is the commemoration of the International Day for Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. It is a day which is celebrated Internationally after the United Nations General Assembly in its resolution 42/112 of 7 December 1987, declared June 26 as the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking and emphasised the importance of dealing with challenges facing the whole world, including crime , HIV and AIDS , moral degeneration , domestic violence and teenage pregnancy.

The for theme for today remains even more relevant in these trying times: “Making health your “new high” in life, not drugs.”, to cleanse our youth of the social ills of society.

Alcohol and Drug Abuse in South Africa remains a leading cause of crime, poverty , reduced productivity , dysfunctional family and community life.  It is escalating chronic diseases such as HIV/AIDS and related health factors, injury and premature death.

Alcohol and Drug Abuse is in essence a counter-revolutionary feature, which if not curbed in society, could reverse the gains of our democratic dispensation and progress.

It does not require rocket science to notice the extent at which the abuse of drugs, alcohol and substances negatively impacts on the struggle to politically and economically emancipate the black majority and Africans in particular in our construction of a non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and united South Africa.

The abuse of these intoxicating substances and alcohol in particular does not only negatively impact the well-being of the individuals consuming them, but distorts society and leads to other grave social ills such as crime, rapid spread of HIV/AIDS, poor health, low success rates in education, sports, work, etc

Young people who persistently abuse substances often experience an array of problems, including academic difficulties, health-related problems (including mental health), poor peer relationships, and involvement with the juvenile justice system.

The abuse of alcohol and other drugs by youth may result in family crises and jeopardize many aspects of family life, sometimes resulting in family dysfunction.

The social and economic costs related to youth substance abuse are high. They result from the financial losses and distress suffered by alcohol and drug-related crime victims, increased burdens for the support of adolescents and young adults who are not able to become self-supporting, and greater demands for medical and other treatment services for these youth.

Possession and use of alcohol and other drugs are illegal for all youth. Beyond that, however, there is strong evidence of an association between alcohol and other drug use and delinquent behavior of juveniles.

Substance abuse is associated with both violent and income-generating crimes by youth. This increases fear among community residents and the demand for juvenile and criminal justice services, thus increasing the burden on these resources.

Gangs, drug trafficking, prostitution, and growing numbers of youth homicides are among the social and criminal justice problems often linked to adolescent substance abuse.

Basically drugs and alcohol abuse is “frying the brains “of young South Africans . They are no longer able to think reasonably and all their actions are done to feed their habits.

We are sharing this information with you today, because as Government we want to advocate to the young people that we care about you and that we guide and direct you in the right direction.

Ladies and Gentleman that in a nutshell is the main purpose of this important day on the international calendar in the fight against alcohol and drug abuse.

Substance Abuse is not a Barkley West , Kimberley , Upington or Springbok problem only it is a South African problem and therefore we must work together to ensure a Drug Free Society.


I thank you


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