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Azerbaijan vs. drugs2012-09-17 16:40
The number of registered drug addicts in Azerbaijan over the past two years has increased by 6,000 people, reaching 26 thousand. According to the head of the National Office of propaganda against drugs Mazahir Efendiyev, another concerning fact is that the age of addicts is reducing. Whereas previously the youngest addicts were 16-17 years old, now some of them are even 14-year-olds.
"Drug addiction - this is great misfortune. It can knock on any door", says Firouz, who has lost his brother due to a drug overdose. As a former law enforcement officer, he is familiar with the situation in this area. Addicted people are nearly incurable, he said. Only a small number can return to a normal life.
Firouz's brother underwent several compulsory drug treatments. "The treatment is very expensive. Although officially the treatment in the clinic is free, the money allocated to each patient's is barely enough for maintenance", Firouz says. Thus in reality the treatment costs lie on the patient's relatives. But even these costs do not guarantee the recovery.
"We tried to treat brother three times; and every time he left the clinic being relatively healthy. But having returned into the society, he continued using drugs. Strangely enough, it all started with a banal alcohol. And then - more ... Unfortunately, it all ended tragically. Even relatives cannot give up everything for many months and take care of him. I would not wish anyone to experience what our family has experienced", Firouz says.
Unfortunately, at present, the issue of establishing a rehabilitation center for drug addicts is extremely acute. "Despite all our efforts to create such a center it is not yet possible", the head of the National Office of propaganda against drugs Mazahir Efendiyev says. "Some medical centers are operating without meeting any current standards. Recovery of drug addicts is possible only in special rehabilitation centers, and we have raised this question. But for the moment the situation in this area does not meet the requirements of the time", the expert concludes.
The struggle against this evil requires a comprehensive approach. Today, no country in the world is able to cope with it. Even the United States have to cooperate in this area with the governments of a number of the Latin American countries. To this end, Azerbaijan and Russia have concluded a corresponding agreement, allowing withdrawal of more than 500 kg of drugs from the market. "Obviously, it's not much, but, nevertheless, this is an indicator of cooperation", Efendiyev says.
Elsewhere in the region, the cooperation with Armenia, which has occupied 20% of Azerbaijan, it is impossible due to its non-constructive position. Its southern neighbor (Iran. - Ed.) is hiding the people involved in drug trafficking. This is particularly puzzling. After all, under the laws of this country, people involved in drug trafficking face death penalty, the expert recalls.
As for the methods of struggling drug addiction in Azerbaijan, in Efendiyev's opinion, they should fundamentally change public attitudes to drug addicts. They are sick, and detention is wrong way. They should get alternative penalties - fines, corrective work and compulsory treatment. They need help to get back into society.
"Sometimes different people accidently fall into the clutches of addiction. Law enforcement agencies immediately send them in prisons. Instead of treatment and recovery, they must get, these people become addicted. Even more, they contribute into making others drug addicted. Authorities should carry out educational activities on this occasion", Efendiyev says.