Staff Major General al-Khulaifi led the ribbon-cutting ceremony at Landmark mall yesterday.
By Joey Aguilar/Staff Reporter
The Ministry of Interior (MoI) marked the World Drug Campaign 2014 yesterday with the inauguration of a drug prevention exhibition at Landmark mall and a symposium at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC).
Staff Major General Saad bin Jassim al-Khulaifi, Director-General of Public Security and chairman of the Permanent Committee for Drugs and Alcohol Affairs, led the opening ceremony and toured the different participating exhibitors with other MoI officials.
Besides creating awareness on the dangers of using narcotics, the exhibition also focused on the role of parents in protecting their children against these substances, an MoI official told Gulf Times on the occasion.
“We have to take care of our children as they have been entrusted to us,” he said.
The international campaign highlights this year’s slogan: “A message of hope: Drug use disorders are preventable and treatable”.
Stating that “more or less” 5,000 people in Qatar need proper medication related to drug abuse, the MoI official expressed confidence as different organisations were working together to address this problem.
He told reporters that their programmes were in line with the Qatar National Drug Control Strategy 2010-2015 for combating narcotics. The State of Qatar, established organisations and stakeholders as well as countries around the world take part in this international campaign.
Various MoI offices participating in the exhibition have distributed brochures and pamphlets indicating the dangers of narcotics to visitors and guests. The reading material also states provisions of the law on drugs and the penalties for violators.
Article 34 states that anyone exporting or importing drugs or psychotropic substances with the intention of trafficking will face execution or life imprisonment. The person will also be fined between QR300,000 and QR500,000.
Also, under Article 35, those possessing, buying or selling drugs for trade purposes will be jailed for at least 10 years and not more than 20 years, and also face a fine of QR200,000 to QR400,000.
The MoI official stressed that combating narcotics requires a lot of co-operation and co-ordination with the authorities to effectively address the problem.
Among the exhibitors are Qatar Foundation for Protection and Social Rehabilitation, Supreme Council of Health – Treatment and Rehabilitation Centre, General Authority of Customs – Drugs and Alcohol Committee and Qatar Centre for Voluntary Activities.
Many of the activities and contests organised at the exhibition aim to educate the public on drug prevention and the dangers associated with narcotics.
The MoI also noted that drug prevention programmes, awareness campaigns and exchange of technical information with various organisations concerned have been helpful in the fight against drug risks and drug-related crimes.
Staff Major General al-Khulaifi earlier said the ministry had been working hard to promote and support all regional and international efforts to fight drug-related crimes.
He added that Phase 2 of the strategy included a set of goals that seeks to sustain and develop systematic, balanced ways to reduce the illicit supply and demand for narcotics and psychotropic substances.
MoI’s Permanent Committee for Drugs and Alcohol Affairs has organised a symposium at the HMC conference hall on the role of medical staff in preventing and reducing the misuse of prescribed medication on the same day.
Some of the topics tackled by resource speakers include the potential addictive and harmful effects of some medications.
They also discussed prescription drug abuse such as using wrong dosage, using prescriptions of others and using drugs without prescription to get the desired effects.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, which leads the global campaign, stressed that its goal is to mobilise support and inspire people to act against drug use.
The MoI official also announced that a religious sermon related to the celebration will be held on June 26, which is observed as International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.