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Azerbaijan's fight against drug addiction

6 October 2021 16:49 (UTC+04:00)
Azerbaijan's fight against drug addiction

By Vugar Khalilov

Drug addiction, known in society as "white death", is one of the most painful problems affecting all countries and nations, regardless of race, age, or religion, and makes everyone think of it as a borderless, global, and terrible disease.

As one of the important steps in fighting this global problem is encouraging awareness, especially among adolescents and young people.

Surprisingly, children and youth are the main victims of this evil, and the future of not only one country, but also the world is in danger.

Raising global awareness

Many countries around the globe have adopted national programs for a drug-free future to protect the younger generations from this evil.

According to the adopted national programs, one of the main tasks of educational institutions and public organizations is to raise awareness and propaganda against drugs. This struggle is carried out through the media, including the Internet.

Drugs, first of all, harm the health of the addict. Drug addiction results in weakening of the body, weight loss, and loss of physical strength. Poisoning of the body leads to poisoning of internal organs. The most common diseases caused by drugs are Hepatitis B, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).

The most horrible aspect of drug use is that a person who uses it several times becomes addicted and looks for opportunities to find and take drugs.

The United Nations has declared June 26 as the International Day against drug abuse and illicit trafficking in order to draw international attention to the world's most dangerous drug problem.

National fight against drug addiction

Azerbaijan is also actively involved in heightening public awareness about drug addiction and fighting against it. The country launched national programs (2000-2006, 2013-2018, 2019-2024) on combating the spread of drugs and established a special state commission to fight the problem. These steps should be considered only as part of the purposeful policy pursued by the state in the fight against this terrible scourge.

After restoring its territorial integrity, Azerbaijan is taking measures to ensure safety and restore order in the liberated lands. One of such measures is to stop drug flow in the region that was previously controlled by an illegal regime in Karabakh set up by Armenia.

During its 30-year occupation of Azerbaijani territories, Armenia used Karabakh and adjacent seven regions for its illegal activities, including arms and drugs trafficking. Although Azerbaijan repeatedly raised the issue before the international organizations, Armenia continued in the same vein, creating all the necessary conditions there for the illegal cultivation, production, and further distribution of narcotic substances.

Various news sources earlier reported the safest route used by drug traffickers passing through Armenia and occupied Azerbaijani lands consisted of Afghanistan-Iran-Armenia-Russia, Karabakh-Iran-Azerbaijan-Russia, Karabakh-Armenia-Russia, and drugs were mostly transported from Russia to Europe.

It should be noted that for more than 20 years, Azerbaijan has been involved in fighting the spread of drugs on the planet in close cooperation with the world and supported three UN conventions on the prevention of drug trafficking.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that about 16 million people worldwide use injecting drugs, and 3 million of them have AIDS.

According to official statistics, the number of drug addicts in Azerbaijan has increased 10 times over the past five years. According to the latest data, the official number of drug addicts in the country is about 30,000.

Azerbaijan constantly improves its legal framework in the fight against drugs and drug trafficking to adapt it to the changing conditions and requirements of the problem. At the same time, the country is fighting against drug trafficking at the level of law enforcement agencies.

One of the most effective ways to combat drug addiction is to identify drug users at an early stage and help them to stop using drugs. It is considered as an effective way to prevent people prone to drug abuse.

For this reason, Azerbaijan’s Health Ministry together with the Education Ministry launched a campaign under the slogan “Say no to drugs” to identify students who are prone to use drugs or other psychotropic substances.

Moreover, Azerbaijan’s Cabinet of Ministers adopted programs on the treatment of drug addicts, which are aimed at preventing the spread of HIV and AIDS among injecting drug users.

On the other hand, the Health Ministry established a voluntary consultation and examination center in the Republican Narcology Center, which provides free consultations for people suffering from drug addiction and other related diseases.

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