Official, human rights and civil demands for concerted efforts to protect society from the dangers of narcotics have come to the fore in the popular and legal circles and on social media after the adoption of the recently amended Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Law, specifically with regard to the legal clause stating that there will be no criminal record for those who use narcotics the first time.
After extensive discussions and consultative sessions by ARDD’s forum on the amended drugs law, an agreement was reached, as an immediate and necessary response, to launch the “The National Alliance for Combating Narcotics” in Jordan, led by the forum member and former director of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Major General Tayel Al-Majali.
The alliance was officially launched on November 4, 2021, at the headquarters of the Drug Enforcement Administration in Amman, in the presence of members of the Forum for Supporting the Justice Sector, representatives of the medical, women and human rights sectors, civil society institutions, anti-narcotics specialists and representatives of Jordan NGOs Forum (JONAF).
Majali said “the burden has become heavy on Jordan – as on other countries – due to the spread of drugs,” adding that although Jordan is not a drug-producing country, the growing rate of drug abuse and promotion has become a great concern for all.
” This alliance, which includes a group of civil society organizations, social and legal activists, experts and specialists, aims at strengthening protection systems, raising awareness, preventing and combating drugs, as well as proposing reforms to strengthen these systems,” he added.
ARDD Executive Director Samar Muhareb stressed the importance of working on prevention and raising awareness, of recovery, control and legal assistance programs for victims, pointing out that the region is witnessing a significant increase in the number of drug-related cases, which has contributed to the rise in the number of victims of domestic violence.
Director of the Drug Enforcement Administration Colonel Hassan Al-Qudah said that about 13,000 cases have been reported since the beginning of 2021, including 8,000 cases of first-time drug use. He also f stressed the importance of raising awareness of the dangers and problems drug use cause.
United Nations Human Rights Adviser Riad Sobh called for introducing a human rights approach to families, in school curricula, prisons and security apparatus in order to strengthen human rights concepts and instill them in the minds of individuals, which will have a positive impact on societal practices and in the relationship between people.
The alliance seeks to recruit representatives from different groups of society to help strengthen prevention of and protection against the drug usage, to hold drug pushers and smugglers accountable for their crimes, and to ensure effective treatment drug addicts, to help them recover and support the families affected, which, in turn, helps preserve the security of the society as whole.
The alliance also aims to provide a platform for human rights-based dialogue between members of the coalition and official bodies, and to facilitate the exchange of experience, as well as to raise public awareness about the need to prevent drug abuse and protect society from the danger of drugs.
The participants called for concerted efforts on the part of all parties concerned to provide effective treatment and rehabilitation for addicts, and build professional competencies of those involved in this sector, and stressed the importance of working on launching strategies with clear action plans that effectively fight against the danger of addiction and enhance awareness about its risks.