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June 26 – International Day against Drug Addiction and Illicit Drug Trafficking

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Today, the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Traffic, the many negative consequences of drug use and the fight against illicit drug trafficking are commemorated.

And every year, individuals like you, entire communities and various organizations around the world participate in this global observance, raising awareness of the major problem illicit drugs represent to society.

This year’s theme is: ‘Share Facts On Drugs, Save Lives‘. Fighting disinformation and sharing the facts about drugs creates awareness of evidence-based prevention, health risks and available solutions to tackle the global drug problem, treatment and care. You do this by knowing the facts and only sharing information from verified sources such as UNODC, Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO), and the Organization of American States (OAS). You can also share the NAR’s social media resources and support us in promoting facts about alcohol, drugs and addiction.

COVID-19 has brought unprecedented public awareness about health, protective measures to stay healthy and especially about protecting each other. However, in the ‘new normal’ of COVID-19, our country has taken certain measures that do not always serve the right of the needy. These measures have ensured that treatments in addiction care have been discontinued for a long time, with all the serious consequences that entails. To top it off, the closure of the detoxification clinic. Treatment is an important part of the recovery process of an addict who cannot achieve this on their own.

The assistance, therefore, encourages as many activities as possible that are based on their own strength. The right information, good treatment, guidance and support, including informal care and self-help groups, focus not only on individual patients but also on their environment. Despite the deplorable circumstances in which the addiction care employees have to function, these employees manage to move mountains and adapt in order to be able to provide the necessary help and care to such an addict with a positive and creative mind-set. The NAR wants to encourage these employees and applauds them to continue the good work.

Despite the difficult circumstances, the NAR has managed to progress the monthly regular meetings online. Some important themes were the Guidelines for Residential Addiction Care (RRV), in which human rights in relation to vaccination were discussed, and all international organizations evaluate the countries mainly on the respect of human rights.

A well-known slogan of the WHO is: ‘Do no harm, which means that the culture of the target group is taken into account when providing information. Scientists are taught to avoid words that are offensive to the target group as much as possible. Every health professional is made aware of this.

On 16 and 18 June 2021, various organizations participated in the training ‘Easy-threshold Guidance of the National Anti-Drug Council’. The aim of this two-day training was to train as many organizations as possible to be able to offer the necessary guidance to their target group in a very accessible way.

On the basis of various presentations, exercises and interactions with the participants, various topics were discussed, including COVID-19 and the challenges that this pandemic poses in contemporary society with regard to drug use, behavioural addiction and addiction care in Suriname.

A total of 52 participants from the following organizations participated in the two-day training: Prison Fellowship Suriname, Stg. The Voice, Stg. Victory Outreach, Stg. Faith and New Life, Stg. Loving Hands, Stg. Wini Makandra and Stg. Bureau of the Homeless.

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