Increase in drug - related offences - official
There has been a significant increase in drug related offences during
the past several years in Sri Lanka. Nearly 40 percent offenders in
prisons are for drug related issues, said Rehabilitation and Prison
Reforms Ministry secretary A Dissanayake.
Participating at the launch of the Certification of Addiction
Professionals in Sri Lanka, jointly organized by the Colombo Plan Asian
Centre for Certification and Education of Addiction Professionals (ACCE)
and National Dangerous Drugs Control Board (NDDCB) in Colombo recently,
Dissanayake said that the total numbers of convicted prisoners were
31,096 for 2010.
Among them, 13,200 cases relating to narcotic drug imprisonment were
reported in 2010, he said.
The Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms Ministry has taken a number of
measures to rehabilitate drug addicted prisoners. Weeravila, Pallekele
and Kalutara prisons have been completely allocated for the
Special awareness programmes are also conducted by the Prison
Department for family members of rehabilitated people with the objective
to create a good family background for them, the secretary said.
He said that the ultimate objective of imprisonment is not only to
penalize them, but also to rehabilitate the person as a valuable human
being into society. "There are two main approaches in the drug abuse
rehabilitation process. Psychological drug counseling is the vital part
in the treatment process and it is the most successful and effective way
to free addicts from their problematic behaviour," he said.
"There are several government and private sector agencies which focus
on providing treatment. Standardized and well - recognized service of
counseling is important to reach the final objective of drug
rehabilitation," he said.
ACCE project director R Tan said the ACCE initiative is a structured
and systematic process through which people, intending or performing
clinical practice acquire the skills to optimally perform their duties
within an addiction treatment setting. "This will include the validation
of skills, knowledge skills, knowledge and competencies through
application and testing of addiction professionals," he said.
He said that Sri Lanka, one of the founding members of Colombo Plan,
is among the nine member countries to commit on this initiative.
Sri Lanka will implement this programme through the NDDCB under the
aegis of the Colombo Plan ACCE.
NDDCB chairperson Leisha de Silva Chandrasena and Colombo Plan
Secretary General Adam Maniku also participated.