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Monday, 20 February 2012






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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 rehabilitation process.

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.


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