Tuesday, June 23, 2015,
THE National Substance Abuse Advisory Council (NSAAC) launched the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking at the Centenary Church in Suva yesterday.
A total of 26 schools invited by the Ministry of Education because of their close vicinity with the church accompanied NSAAC officials in a march against drug abuse that started at the Flea Market.
Senior adviser for health under the National Substance Advisory Abuse Josua Naisele said the purpose of the march was to create awareness of the dangers of drugs in the lives of young people, the students, the youths and the members of the public.
According to Mr Naisele, schools would hold the awareness programs throughout the week within their own premises and inviting officials from the Ministry of Health, Social Welfare or even the police as special guests to speak on drug abuse.
“We are trying our very best so the children can change their attitudes and behaviour so that when they’re tempted, they can say no. The main focus is for the students to be responsible for their own health,” Mr Naisele said.
He said at present, students were abusing cigarettes.
From marijuana and methamphetamine use to a pack of 10 or 20 cancer sticks, the NSAAC report stated smoking was the highest abused drug, followed by kava.
Methodist Church in Fiji secretary for communications Reverend James Bhagwan said: “The issues of substance abuse is something very close to the Methodist ethos.
“That’s why we have already called against the abuse of kava, abstinence from alcohol and cigarettes but the decision has to come from the individual.”