The level of resources committed to reducing the drug trade should also be given to a comprehensive drug demand reduction programme

Dear Editor,

We commend the recent initiatives of the government in targeting social maladies, such as child abuse, truancy, vagrancy, violence against women, HIV/AIDS, alcoholism and other substance abuse disorders, even though the penetration of the intiatives may vary in different areas.

In these troubled times of moral recession, which spare no country, few grasp the magnitude of these problems and their adverse effects on society, until the results are so obvious that they cannot be ignored.

It is against this background that we applaud the Government of Guyana and other stakeholders in the relentless battle for moral rectitude and survival. Organizations such as the Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha, the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, USAID/GHARP, NAPS, the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Human Services and Social Security and numerous other organizations are to be equally lauded for confronting these humongous challenges. A perusal of recent editorials bears witness to the scope of these maladies and their devastating effects on society.

We at the Phoenix Recovery Project endure the pain daily of seeing the damage to our social fabric caused by poor choices and lifestyles, especially in the areas of drug and alcohol abuse –  substance use disorders affecting both males and females, which underpin many cases of rape, road accidents, child abuse, unsafe sex, broken homes, domestic violence, murder, etc. All of these contribute to escalating health care costs.

Emerging out of a recent in-house workshop, we are unanimously of the view that the fight to reduce the supply of drugs should be matched  in terms of resource allocation to a comprehensive drug demand reduction programme, with the focus on secondary treatment and rehabilitation in particular.

Much may be said about any government’s performance; one thing that cannot be said however, is that it has failed to address these societal ills, albeit with mixed results and hints of inadequacies.

We urge the greater involvement of the private sector and society as a whole in the attempt to overcome the prowess of the common enemy.

Congratulations once again and keep up the nation’s healing work.

Yours faithfully,
(Three names and addresses provided)
Clients of the PhoenixRecovery Project

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