On World Anti-Narcotics Day, Sultanate reveals plans to tackle scourge of drugs
June 26, 2019 | 8:34 PM
by Sheikha Al Makhousi/[email protected]
An event on the World Anti-Narcotics Day was organised under the patronage of Sayyid Mohammed bin Sultan Al Busaidi, Minister of State And the Governor of Dhofar. –ONA

Muscat: Awareness-raising efforts are being conducted across Oman to help counter the global scourge of drug abuse.

On World Anti-Narcotics Day, a number of senior officials have revealed programmes and statistics related to treatment and education of addicted citizens and residents.

Pilot scheme

More than 100 counsellors have been trained to visit schools across Oman with an anti-drugs message. That pilot scheme is to be rolled out across all schools in Oman by next year, officials say.

Of the registered addicts in Oman, 98 per cent are male, and some 42 per cent of addicts are aged between 25 and 34 years, according to health ministry statistics.

Dr. Mahmoud bin Zahir Al Abri, supervisor of the Executive Office of the National Commission on Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances said: “The number of cases recorded in the Central Register was 6,456 cases of addiction in 2018, an increase of 552 cases, and the majority of these cases were of males, where the age group 25 - 34 was the highest in the same year by 42 per cent.

“These statistics do not reflect the size of the real problem in society, but represent the officially registered cases that initiated a request for treatment,” Al Abri said.

He added: “It requires all parties to cooperate to reduce the number of cases of addiction and fight against several phenomena such as the prevalence of injecting highly addictive substances and abuse of more than one substance at the same time, doubling the seriousness of the situation.”

Dr Khalid Al Meshaikhi, Director-General of the General Directorate of Health Services in Dhofar Governorate said: “The National Committee for Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances is working in cooperation with government and private sectors to reduce the spread of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances by means of activating awareness programmes.”

Mimouna Al Mundhiriya, Assistant Director of the Office of the Under-Secretary of Education and Curriculum, explained: “During the academic year, 134 social and psychological specialists were trained in a schools programme to educate students in schools about drug damage and we aim to ensure that the program is distributed throughout all the Sultanate’s schools during the academic year 2020-2021.”

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