RIYADH – The National Committee for Combating Drugs is preparing a comprehensive strategy to counter the abuse of street and prescription drugs in the Kingdom, including judicial changes, education of young people and security measures.
Changes to the legal system could see training for judges and the possibility of special courts to consider drug-related cases.
Okaz has a copy of the entire strategy, which is divided into seven goals:
First: To determine the social and psychological make-up of drug addicts and abusers; the kinds of drugs and psychotropics that are available in the Kingdom; and the affect this has on society.
Studies will be undertaken in villages and rural areas across the Kingdom; at schools, colleges, universities, institutes and military, vocational and training colleges. These studies will be updated every three years so that a comprehensive picture can be compiled of drug abuse in the country.
Second: To compile into one official book all the regulations, agreements and decisions of the Council of Ministers and Royal Orders related to combating drugs and psychotropics. The book will be entitled: “The regulations for countering drugs and psychotropics in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia”. The official book will be updated every three years.
Third: To develop preventive plans by making it obligatory on the education department to include lessons and topics on the harm that can be caused by the use and abuse of drugs. This will be included at schools and higher education institutions. The private sector will also be encouraged to participate.
Fourth: To develop rehabilitation programs and ensure that there are enough hospitals and clinics to treat drug abusers and addicts in the Kingdom. And to ensure that the private sector also sets up treatment programs.
Fifth: To develop plans to ensure that patients coming from treatment can be successfully reintegrated into society. The Ministry of Health has also laid out plans for psychological rehabilitation at Al-Amal hospitals.
The help of the private sector will also be sought.
Sixth: To develop bilateral, regional and international cooperation and the exchange of information and expertise on the sources of drugs and psychotropics. To boost communications between neighboring countries to curb the illicit trade in drugs and psychotropics. And to exchange of information and expertise on drug dealers, smugglers and drug trade networks.
Seventh: To develop the means of countering drugs and psychotropics with the cooperation of the Ministry of Interior’s security plans. – Okaz/SG