Azerbaijan, Baku, Nov. 18 / Trend K.Zarbaliyeva /
Azerbaijani MP Ganira Pashayeva believes drug addiction should be fought.
In her speech at the "'Impact of Drug Addiction on Our Gene Pool: Study of Foreign and Local Practice" scientific conference Pashayeva said Azerbaijan has chosen the wrong path in the battle against drugs. The conference was organized by the Azerbaijani Female Journalists Association.
"It is impossible to fight this problem by waving the slogan 'Say No To Drugs,'" the MP said. "Profits from drug addiction are large and the forces opposing us are powerful. We must fight drug addiction through dialogue. Our activities should not be a short-term campaign."
The younger generation should be explained how the drug mafia lures young people into their networks, she said. Expressing concern over the emergence of this problem in universities and schools, she said some young people use hard drugs such as heroin in Azerbaijan.
According to Pashayeva, a mechanism must be prepared to combat drug use. Statistics over the past five years show an increase in drug addicts - especially among younger people.
"This is a very serious SOS to society," the MP said.
Pashayeva said families, schools, media and every member of society must join in the struggle. In her view, foreign social videos should be translated into the Azerbaijani language to educate the public about the grave consequences of using drugs.
The families also should be educated, she said.
"Our young people fall into a trap cleverly placed by drug traffickers," the MP noted. "First they distribute drugs free to youth. And after the onset of addiction, young people, who are even very fond of their loved ones, are ready to go commit any crime."
According to Pashayev, society should change its attitude toward drug addicts. They should be treated not as criminals but rather as sick people.
She also said it necessary to pay special attention to patient care which should be free of charge.
The fight against drug addicts must begin in the family, Family, Women and Children State Committee Deputy Chairman Sadagat Gakhramanova said.
The official also expressed her concern about the increasing number of female smokers in the country and stressed the need for a law banning smoking in public places.
MP Govhar Bakhshaliyeva added that actions should be tightened against individuals involved in the distribution and sale of drugs.
Eighty-five percent of the 18,000 registered drug addicts in Azerbaijan use heroin, said Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Trafficking State Commission Working Group head Araz Aliguliyev said.
He stressed the importance of assessing the real drug situation in Azerbaijan.
"In terms of assessing the situation no studies have been conducted in this sphere," he said. "Statistics are not grounds for assessing the real situation. Reality causes serious concern."
Aliguliyev complained about the shortage of personnel engaged in treating addicts.
According to the official, there are too few psychologists, social workers and almost no NGOs working in the sphere.
The association's social video "Protecting Our Gene Pool" was shown at the conference.
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