The Iraqi Student Foundation, in cooperation with the Faculty of Law at the University of Karbala, has held a conference on the dangers of drug abuse.
To combat the rising problem of drug trafficking and abuse in the country, the University of Karbala and the Iraqi Student Foundation have launched a campaign to highlight the dangers of these issues.
The campaign was launched during a conference that brought together dozens of students, civil society organisations and officials. They all agreed that serious effort needs to be made to counter the rise of drug abuse in the country.
“This phenomenon has spread dangerously among students, and the role of the institution is to reduce this phenomenon and to educate students about its dangerous effects,” said one of the organisers.
The conference was also attended by artists who tried to showcase the dangers of drug abuse in a different light. According to the artists, many people do not know the effects of drug use on the human body and mind.
Despite drug abuse and trafficking being illegal in the country and being a punishable crime, the lack of real efforts to prevent this phenomenon have led to increased use.
While Iraq has been a vessel from drug trafficking for several decades, usage was infrequent. However, with the security vacuum that was created several years ago, drug smugglers began to sell drugs to unemployed youth who feel marginalised by the government.
Recently the government announced that this problem needs a serious solution and that they will be undertaking measures to cut down on this issue.
“The provisions of the Anti-Narcotics Act are sufficient, but action is required. We need to activate the application and the implementation of the law properly by the competent authorities, whether security or judicial bodies, so that they take appropriate action,” said an official attending the conference, referencing the anti-narcotics law, which was passed in 2017. “However, it is not fair to only blame the security and health authorities, and there must be certain centres for the rehabilitation of this category, which has been exposed to some cases.”
The country’s anti-narcotics law establishes five main targets that it aims to achieve in order to curb the increasing drug epidemic. Amongst these targets is strengthening the country’s anti-narcotics forces and supplying hospitals with the necessary tools and training to deal with drug addictions. According to the law, the Iraqi Government will work to curb the spread of drugs and drug smuggling by working with regional and international forces to shut down drug rings in the region.
According to some researches at the University of Babylon, the absence of rehabilitation centres and a lack of public awareness of the dangers of drugs have led many young people to be stuck in a cycle of abuse.
As a result, they have called on the authorities to establish rehabilitation centres and make efforts to remove the societal taboo associated with rehabilitation and psychological therapy.
Now that many members of society and government have noticed the seriousness of the problem, citizens hope that they will begin conducting serious efforts to alleviate the issue that is affecting thousands of young Iraqis.