BRUNEI should focus more on drug abuse prevention since the number of drug abuse cases in the Sultanate is still low compared with other countries, an official from a United Nations body tasked to help governments fight illicit drugs, transnational crime and terrorism yesterday said.
During the close yesterday of a regional workshop on drugs and substance abuse held here, Dr Suruchi Pant from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, said there is a lot of potential to prevent drug problems from getting worse in the country. "Brunei is not a major concern as the number of drug users is still low compared to other countries, which is why I think we should emphasise more on prevention."
Dr Suruchi is the project coordinator for the regional workshop.
In an interview with The Brunei Times, she also said that Bruneian youths should be more involved in drug prevention programmes, courses and workshops.
She said that Brunei local youths were one of the most energetic and motivated participants in the workshop, noting a lot of good inputs have come from them and that they have the ability to contribute to improve the drug situation in the country.
She said religious faith-based organisations should conduct more motivational talks or similar workshops.
And since most Bruneians are Muslims, drug abuse prevention issues should frequently be brought up in religious activities or events.
Schools and education institutions or colleges should also play a part by conducting similar workshops.
Parents should also play their part to guide their children.
Dr Suruchi also thanked the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, the Commonwealth Youth Programme Asia Centre for organising the workshop, the National Anti-Drug Association of Brunei Darussalam (Basmida), the participants from all eight countries and the working committee involved in making the workshop a success.
Kumeresh Suppiah, one of the participants, told The Brunei Times that he was impressed with Brunei's youths as he described the country as a "good host".
The liaison officers "have done a wonderful job, they were nice and informative", said the participant from Singapore.
He explained that after their field visits to the Narcotics Control Bureau, the Prisons Department, Basmida and the Drug Rehab Centre, he has realised that enforcement in the country is a lot stricter and laws in Brunei are different from other countries.
Amal Azwana Hj Erywan, a participant from Brunei, also thanked organisers for giving youths the opportunity to learn new things.
The workshop ended with Hj Mohd Zamri Dato Paduka Hj Hamdani, Acting Deputy Director of Youth and Sports Department, awarding certificates of attendance to participants and concluded with a Doa Selamat recital.
In the afternoon, the participants were taken on a sightseeing tour around the capital and also the Empire Hotel and Country Club in Jerudong.
The Brunei Times
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
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