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Years of anti-drug battle: Youth and Energy

Years of anti-drug battle: Youth and Energy
To step up the nationwide anti-drug movement, the 2006 National Anti-drug Conference was held on June 3 at the Public Affairs Manpower Development Center. This year, the conference was hosted by the MOE with attendees including the heads and personnel of government offices participating in anti-drug efforts, scholars and experts from the crime prevention, legal, medical, educational, social, and psychological fields, and representatives of civil organizations. A total of about 200 persons participated in the anti-drug event.

Premier Su Zhen-chang spoke at the opening ceremony, saying that the worsening drug abuse issue has become a worldwide concern. Technological advances have produced more diversified drugs and reduced prices. Drugs are available everywhere. Curious youngsters and unsuspecting adults are tempted to use drugs and become addicted, bringing dangers to themselves, their families, and society. Some drug addicts are even affected with AIDS, transmitting the disease to others. This phenomenon is very worrying. Therefore, anti-drug work has to be seriously implemented to reduce the victims to the minimum.

After years of hard work, good results are emerging. Anti-drug reports prepared by the US have removed Taiwan from the list of drug transit nations for six consecutive years. Premier Su has expressed recognition of the results. As far as the future is concerned, Premier Su says we cannot be complacent about what we have done. In the future, content of anti-drug publicity has to include the latest information, letting the public know the hazard of drugs. In the meantime, teachers and parents have to know the symptoms of drug abusers and extend a helping hand as soon as possible. In addition, the government is aggressively promoting alternative experimental treatments for drug addiction, and hoping to reduce AIDS infections. By reducing the hazard of drugs to the minimum, it is hoped to reduce drug-related crimes.

Minister Tu Cheng-sheng said at the conference that drugs seriously hurt the health of our nationals and impact social security and national economy. The government has officially declared war against drugs since 1993, aggressively implementing the three main tasks of "saying no to drugs," "abstaining from drugs," and "uncovering and seizing drugs." This year, "anti-drug monitoring" and "international cooperation" are included, pushing the existing anti-drug strategic alert line from "saying no to drugs" forward to "drug prevention." The targeted objects have been extended from "drugs" to "medicines suspected of being abused illegally" and their precursor chemical industrial materials or finished products in order to deepen the overall anti-drug strategy.

Minister Tu points out the Executive Yuan has named 2005-2008 the "Years of Anti-drug Battle." It has reinstated the Executive Yuan Drugs Prevention Meeting. With cooperation between ministries, it once again declares war against drugs, which echoes the themes of this year's anti-drug conference. Minister Tu believes the anti-drug war is a hard and lasting war. Though over the years the government has made much progress in the war against drugs and received international recognition, much work has yet to be done in order to build a drug-free homeland that is free from the hazards of drugs.

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