Written by Tharushan Fernando
06 Aug, 2016 | 10:30 pm
A series of projects are in effect under the Presidential Task Force to create a country free of drugs, liquor and cigarettes under the manifesto “Compassionate or Maithri Governance – a stable country.”
The task force points out that one third of the income earned by people living below the poverty line, is spent on alcohol and tobacco.
The Presidential Task Force states that 22 percent of funds allocated for the health sector in the country is spent on those suffering from alcohol and tobacco related illnesses. The Presidential Task Force is conducting a series of projects and campaigns, in a bid to minimise such costs, and more importantly to protect the human resources in the country,
The main aim of the Presidential Task Force is to reduce the manufacturing, transportation and marketing of illicit drugs by 80 percent by 2020. Reducing the manufacturing of tobacco by 50 percent within this time period, and also reducing the number of motor accidents caused due to drunk driving by 50 percent by 2020, are objectives of the Presidential Task Force.
The project implemented by the Presidential Task Force includes the prohibition of direct or indirect promotion of drugs, reducing the availability of such products and conducting extensive public awareness campaigns on the harm caused due to the use of drugs, liquor and cigarettes.
Director of the Presidential Task Force on Drug Prevention, Dr. Samantha Kumara explained that in this five-year programme there three key objectives. First being the formulating of laws and amendments of laws relating to drug raids. Secondly, the rehabilitation of drug addicts and third – the drug prevention programme to prevent the children and youth of the country being addicted to drugs.
He added that all state institutions will come under this programme, along with Non- Governmental Organisations, the United Nations, WHO and all institutions related to this, and that come under the UN, will work together with the Presidential Task Force to eradicate use of drugs.
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