National Talanoa Session on Responding to Illicit Drugs in Fiji Symposium to be held today

National Talanoa Session on Responding to Illicit Drugs in Fiji Symposium to be held today

By Vijay Narayan
Thursday 16/05/2024

The Ministry of Home Affairs in collaboration with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is organizing a two days’ National Talanoa Session on Responding to Illicit Drugs in Fiji Symposium today and tomorrow at the FNU Nasinu Campus.

The Talanoa session is supported by Communications Fiji Limited, the parent company of fijivillage, FM96, LegendFM, VitiFM, Navtarang, Radio Sargam, and the Fiji National University.

The Home Affairs Ministry says the National Talanoa Session will assist the Fiji Government in firming up the Counter Narcotics Strategy and Action Plan.

The Ministry says recent statistics have shown a worrying trend in the escalating volume of methamphetamine seizures, with reports suggesting a significant uptick in the last year alone.

It says not surprisingly, reports of increasing rates of addiction are becoming common in Fiji.

They say this surge in drug availability is closely linked to a rise in injecting drug use, which carries grave health implications, including the spread of infectious diseases such as HIV.

The Home Affairs Ministry says the correlation between the rise in drug use and the potential for an HIV epidemic cannot be overstated, with unsafe injecting practices facilitating the transmission of the virus.

Prime Minister, Sitiveni Rabuka had earlier stated that the intersection of drug abuse and HIV is a ticking time bomb for our society.

This emphasizes the urgent need for comprehensive strategies to combat this growing menace.

Despite these concerns, the Ministry says ‘knee jerk” reactions cannot be the response.

It says at the same time, considering the urgency of these issues requires a multiplicity of responses – short, medium, and long term – must be identified and implemented.

Click here for more stories from the Talanoa Session on Illicit Drugs and Substance Use Disorders in Fiji

Click here for stories on the Drugs Situation in Fiji

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