50 lakh junkies in country | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, July 02, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, July 02, 2010

50 lakh junkies in country

Speakers tell Prothom Alo dialogue

Stern punishment to drug lords and the syndicates is a must to root out the drug addiction from personal life, family and society, speakers at an open dialogue said yesterday.
The number of junkies in the country reaches as high as around 50 lakh while over one lakh people are involved with drug peddling, they said.
The speakers stressed the need for strengthening family ties to stop this drug menace.
A war on drug abuse will have to be initiated, they said, urging the government to cut drug supply, arrest the smugglers and enforce the laws.
Bangla daily The Prothom Alo, Prothom Alo Trust and Prothom Alo Bandhusabha organised the dialogue titled “Drug-free healthy society” at the newspaper's office to mark the International Anti-drug Day.
The speakers said addicts would have to be rehabilitated with proper treatment, love and affection instead of punishment.
State Minister for Home Shamsul Haque Tuku said the whole nation is suffering from drug abuse and it is not possible to develop the country without taking a strong stance against the hazard.
Terrorism originated from international crime gangs involved with the drug business who use Bangladesh as their transit, he said.
He said it is not possible to control drug abuse with the existing laws and the government is mulling to enact special laws against the menace.
National Professor Dr MR Khan said the drug addicts would have to be brought back to normal life with love and affection.
He urged all to play an active role to win the fight against the peril.
Aziz Khan, chairman of Prothom Alo Trust, said a war on drug in cooperation with government and non-government organisations will have to be fought to resist drug addiction.
Only the small peddlers like street vendors and carriers usually get captured but the kingpins remain untouched, he said.
“The kingpins will have to be arrested and punished.”
He suggested incorporating the issue in the textbook curriculum at the secondary and higher secondary levels.
Prof Asif Nazrul of Dhaka University suggested the borders to be put on more alert to stop drug trafficking.
Television artiste Bipasha Hayat said the family ties are declining day by day which led the children to choose a wrong path. The parents should consider their children as friends, she said.
Rasheda K Chowdhury suggested spreading the message of building awareness against drug abuse through the state-run television to the general masses in a more communicable way.
“I never took any kind of drug in my lifetime despite getting numerous offers,” said Everest conqueror Musa Ibrahim.
Prothom Alo Editor and Publisher Matiur Rahman, Joint Editor Abdul Qayum, MA Siddique, chief of Narcotics Control Department, Syed Abul Maksud, Badiul Alam Majumder and Abdun Noor Tushar were present at the dialogue.
Two minor addicts -- Sohel and Durjoy -- narrated their stories.
Three journalists were awarded for their anti-drug reporting in the programme.

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