DEA Launches Anti-Drug Campaign Amid Worrying Trends

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The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) launched the national anti-drug campaign in Maun last week. The campaign is aimed at sensitising the public on the rising trend of drug abuse and its adverse effects on the wellbeing whether it be physical or mental health.

Maun, was chosen for the launch amid concerning statistics that show the escalation drug proliferation and abuse, which have engendered criminal activities.

Speaking at the launch, defence and security minister Kagiso Mmusi, said the unlawful use of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances affect the very fabric of society, adding that the youth are the most affected.

Phemelo Ramakorwane, the Director General of DEA, echoed these sentiments, stressing how drug abuse does not only erodes the community’s fabric but also engenders criminal behaviors among individuals, especially the youth.

Alarming statistics presented by the Botswana Police Acting Divisional Commander of the North West region, Cyprian Magalila revealed a distressing trend in reported cases of drug-related incidents which surged from 51 in 2022 to 65 in 2023, with a notable increase in female users by 170%. However, Magalila emphasised that these figures represent only the tip of the iceberg, as many cases go unreported, concealed beneath other criminal activities or familial disputes.

The event, attended by a diverse array of stakeholders including government bodies, law enforcement agencies, educational institutions, and members of the public rallied under the slogan “Drugs, My Enemy, Your Enemy, United We Can Win.” This rallying sought to galvanise collective action against drug abuse, emphasising its pervasive impact across all segments of society.

Furthermore, the campaign underscored the importance of community involvement in identifying and addressing drug-related issues.

Magalila highlighted the significance of reporting suspicious activities, as well as the need to recognise drug abuse as a root cause behind various societal problems. He encouraged the community to assist the relevant authorities to help fight this issue.

The event’s overarching message resonated with attendees, urging them to recognise drug abuse as a shared challenge requiring unified efforts for resolution. Through education, awareness, and collaborative action, the campaign aimed to instill a sense of responsibility and empowerment within the community to combat the scourge of drug abuse.

Finally, the DEA’s anti-drug campaign served as a crucial platform for raising awareness, mobilizing resources, and fostering community engagement in the fight against drug abuse. With concerted efforts and a collective commitment, Botswana stands poised to confront this pressing issue and safeguard the well-being of its citizens.

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