On the occasion of National Day against Drug Abuse and Trafficking, the Minister of Public Security asked government agencies to ramp up their efforts to curb and prevent the trade of drugs in Laos.
Speaking at a press conference last week, Deputy Prime Minister General Vilay Lakhamfong, who is also Minister of Public Security, instructed government bodies at all levels to escalate the war on drugs.
According to him, people from all walks of life, especially women and young people, should be educated about the risks and dangers of drug abuse and trafficking.
The minister said that all its citizens should follow the law, and government agencies should offer help to rehabilitate drug abuse victims and provide treatment and job training so that they can contribute to their families and society positively. Rehab and counseling facilities are already on offer in some community hospitals across the country.
He insisted that stricter laws should be in place to stop rampant drug abuse and authorities at both local and central levels should be equipped to nab those involved in the production and distribution of drugs across the country.
The minister informed that drug use and its sale and trafficking have spread from cities to rural areas and from plains to remote mountain areas. People who are found to be involved in growing drugs like opium or marijuana should be given opportunities to find better and legal sources of employment and if they continue to be involved in dealing with drugs, they must face harsh penalties.
General Vilay expressed his dismay at how many young people, college students, factory workers, and farmers are now hooked on drugs. Some of them have become troublemakers in their families and communities, robbing, killing, and taking people hostage. They have also been involved in prostitution, caused accidents on the roads by driving carelessly, and fought with each other.
This year, the police have received help from agencies both inside and outside of Laos to catch drug traffickers in some of the country’s biggest drug busts and bring them to justice. Some police officers have also lost their lives trying to apprehend drug dealers.