“I’m sometimes accused of drug trafficking. It’s an activity that for the time being, historically, shall we say has been declared illegal. It’s illegal at the moment, but in the long run and in the future, we’re going to show that it will head toward legalization”- Pablo Escobar
Pablo Escobar was the most famous Colombian drug baron who earned over $ 20 billion a year in trade of narcotics and illicit drugs.
This year, the theme for the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking is “Listen First”. In April 2016 the UN General Assembly held a Special Session (UNGASS) marking an important milestone in achieving the goals set in the policy document of 2009 “Political Declaration and Plan of Action on International Cooperation towards and Integrated and Balanced Strategy to Counter the World Drug Problem”, which defined action to be taken by Member States as well as goals to be achieved by 2019.
Some of the drugs that used regularly for addiction and negative use include amphetamines, nicotine, alcohol, cocaine, crack and heroin. Apparently it has been known that 25% of people who try heroin at least once, easily become addicted. A shocking fact by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime says that “even though one out of three drug users is a woman, only one out of five drug users in treatment is a woman.” Men are three times more likely than women to use cannabis, cocaine and amphetamines, whereas women are more likely than men to misuse prescription opioids and tranquillizers.
The movement of drugs is also key, UNODC notes that the Afghan heroin is smuggled across the Indian Ocean into East and Southern Africa where it also the trans-shipment area for smuggling cocaine to Europe. The rate of drug abuse is still on the rise, over a quarter of a billion people between 15 and 64 years have had a drug problem. According to an unverified list, the top 10 countries who are the Most Drug Addicted include:
10- Mexico- Methmphetamines, 3.9% per capita
9- Brazil- Oxi (mix of cocaine paste, gasoline, calcium oxide and kerosene), 4.29% per capita
8- United States- Prescription Pills, 6.2% per capita
7- Canada- Marijuana, 6.4% per capita
6- Afghanistan- Heroin, 6.9% per capita
5- Russia- Alcohol, 7.1% per capita
4- Slovakia- Inhalants, 13.01% per capita
3- France- Prescription Pills, 13.2% per capita
2- United Kingdom- Alcohol, 13.65% per capita
1-Iran- Heroin, 14.32% per capita
Kenyan youth no doubt are suffering drug abuse, in fact it is the highest from the ages of 15 and 29. They are using alcohol, tobacco and cocaine as the leading drugs. According to the NACADA (National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse): “bhang is the most easily available illicit drug in the country at 49% followed by cocaine and heroin.”
The whole thing about drug abuse comes down to many factors. The basic one being financial stability of the household, the poorer the family the most likely the children are to fall into this menace. If also the cultural stance is not stable then they will get easily distracted to find their place elsewhere. In the villages, when unemployment is high, education quality is poor and rise in HIV and AIDS then they will resort to these illicit drugs to be relevant. Drug abuse is high with teenagers because they are feeling peer pressure, they want to fit in with their friends circle and what they do, they sometimes follow unknowingly the consequences.
Can these drugs be stopped, basically can demand and supply be controlled? Not really. This is a big cycle of good health, good life, good values and good governance. There is no perfect country, perfect home, perfect lifestyle or perfect values. What is possible is a better balance in law and order and opportunities for the people. When there are better structures for education and employment then these let individuals prosper. You may argue that riches make you bored and that’s when some resort to unusual activities, taking drugs make them escape boredom. Well spirituality can take over and charitable work. The richest man in the world is not high on drugs, he is high on good work, so set an example. Governments may be reluctant to loose the income tax they earn from drugs such as tobacco and alcohol, but at some point they will have to pay the price. If farms become heroin farms, then there is something seriously wrong with the entire system.
The high must remain on being good and not evil.