Lessons to learn from International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking

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LYNDHURST – Wedge Gardens Treatment Centre is calling on the community to learn about drug abuse so as to counteract it. There is an initiative to teach parents and adults to start conversations about drugs and listen to the youth in this regard.

The International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking takes place on 26 June, and Wedge Gardens Treatment Centre is calling on communities to raise their awareness about these issues.

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The centre, situated just outside of Johannesburg, supports the Listen First initiative. Its aim is to get adults to listen to children and youth because this is seen as the first step in helping them grow up healthy and safe.

Wedge Gardens social worker Karen Griessel said that Listen First is an initiative by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

“Conversations about drug use must start with children and youth to educate them about the realities they will face – on the playground, in their communities and later, even in their workplace,” said Griessel.

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“Conversations between individuals, schools and communities need to be promoted. Listen with an open mind, ready to learn and grow. Handle conversations respectfully, without judgment, assumption or bias.”

The Listen First project looks at demand and supply statistics, human rights, emerging challenges, new psychoactive drugs and national sentencing policies, with an obvious focus on prevention and treatment.

Griessel added that last year, there were 190 000 drug-related deaths globally. This figure does not take into consideration the health implications of those using drugs or the increased prevalence of drug trafficking and drug-related gangsterism.

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According to the World Drug Report, synthetic and psychoactive drugs are being spread via cybercrime and dark-net business deals, which is a concern.

It is believed that development, health, peace and human rights are being attacked on a severe scale due to dodgy drug deals worldwide.

Details: Wedge Gardens Treatment Centre 011 430 0320.

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