Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Reaching out



The new government has come to power with the promise of 'closing the doors' on entry routes of drugs into the country. About one year back National Narcotics Control Bureau (NNCB) launched a 'Wake Up' campaign to raise awareness on drug abuse prevention. Now the question is who will reach out to the estimated 10,000 to 15,000 drug addicts already on the streets and treat them?


The obvious answer is NNCB. But look at the numbers. The Bureau has capacity to treat a maximum of 400 addicts per year. This is just about 3% of the addict population. What happens to the remaining 97% ? Further, some of the 3% would relapse, thereby reducing the number further. In short probably the number of people cured would be less than the number of new youngsters getting addicted. Thus the numbers would in fact be increasing rather than decreasing. This is borne out by the everyday experience of ordinary people.


What's the solution? Train more counselors? Expand the capacity of NNCB? These are all tried solutions –and not with very impressive results. In fact with a very high attrition rate, the number of NNCB counselors is steadily dwindling. Can you believe your ears when you hear that the Drug Rehabilitation Center in Himmafushi has only 5 trained counselors? Frankly speaking, the pay and perks of a counselor are grossly inadequate for the hazardous work they do daily. Thus, even if training courses are made available not many would apply.


So it is obvious some innovative thinking is required. More resources need to be mobilized –particularly human resources. We can think of volunteers –teachers, nurses, health workers, religious scholars. NGOs can take the lead in organizing the volunteers with support from the government. Only a supreme national effort can save the nation from going under a tsunami of drug addiction.

10 comments:

maldivian.national said...

Even with these statistics, even Nasheed's government does not seem to accord as much significance to this problem, which will very likely become the reason why many other development programs will not achieve their full potential - any economic or social development project depends on a productive and dynamic labour force which is something the drug problem will not allow us to produce.

Anonymous said...

This can be done very easily. We have got so many Shaikhs. If they start preaching to these lost people they will find the right path.

Anonymous said...

Most youngsters go into drugs becasue there is nothing interesting to do. No fun no entertainement.

Anonymous said...

NGOs? What NGOs? What do they do only criticizing narcotics control board. Maldives NGOs think government must do everything for them.

Anonymous said...

See how all addcits are releasing from jail. now it must be obvious to every one it is impossible to lock all addicts up. so you all mullahs now come to yuor senses and talk something useful. your foolish talk is the reason no good tratment was given to addicts

Anonymous said...

The government is fail on their drug policies. The NBC is failed on their mission too. . . There is no way to turn these drug addicts to a normal person unless they change them self. . . .
To prevent our next generation we need this government to make very strict laws including of death penalty . . . with limited resources and with limited people this is only way people of Maldives can have their normal life.
These days the government, HRC and NGO’s are only thinking about the rights of the criminals. While normal people are living in great danger by these criminals . . . Every time there is a election these criminals are released without having any knowledge how dangerous they will be . . . and government does nothing to save life of ordinary people. .

Police says the low does not give any power arrest those people. . If they arrest somebody today, they have to release them tomorrow as they don’t have solid evidence. No matter how many criminal records they have.

I think it’s the time Maldivian to fight back again these criminals and against with the government. That’s the only way they can have their normal life back. And especially this is the only way things works in Maldives. .

Anonymous said...

Soft drugs must be made legal.young people need to have more facilities for entertainment. Night clubs,discos, amusement arcades etc that's what we want And a little more personal freedom.

Anonymous said...

Relegious preaches wont help these ppl. Cox they r far from relegion n have no basics.

to apply relegion kill em al.

Anonymous said...

very interesting article! i guess our problem is we do things slow and with out passsion..
A whole rebuild the nation process has to be done to bring back our country.
Dr Waheed, i would like to know if you have any contribution to the society, except for the excellent articles, which is undoubtedly one of the best works.

Anonymous said...

I got some questions for you? no offence,
1. you were saying 3% of the people who will get realspe(go back in to drugs) after the treatment, Infact it's other way round 97% gets relapse within 3 months. what are you trying to fabricate?
2. I understand you have been the head of so call NNCB for years, than why didnt you do anything to tackle this matter, besides all you have tried is to mislead the public, by saying 80% people are stable after the treatment. what a mess...
Mr Waheed, "Talks cook no rise"
try and breath in to reality you have been trying far too long mislead us, we wont buy your crap no more.

Authors reply: please read the article again. It does not say only 3% will relapse. It says only 3% can be treated by the Bureau and even out of this 3% who are treated some will relapse. Where did the article say 80% are stable after treatment?