ALCOHOL and drug use in Papua New Guinea is becoming a national concern with many Papua New Guineans not drinking responsibly.
This is not a social issue only but has become a hazard thus, contributing to the deterioration on nation-building.
New research undertaken by the Constitutional Law Reform Commission (CLRC) had revealed alarming results that relate to the use and regulation of drugs and alcohol.
It was found that the laws relating to the use of drugs and alcohol were seriously outdated, more than 40 years back; for instance Excise (Beer) Act 1952, Liquor (Licensing) Act 1963 and Liquor Provisions Act 1973.
This important research has found that due to the antiquity of these acts, the penalties for crimes and offences relating to alcohol and drugs are not weighty enough, giving the perpetrators more opportunities to recommit the offences.
Mary Fairio, lead researcher in the project, expressed alarm at the findings and hopes to carry out a nation-wide survey.
However, this is now limited to NCD due to the unavailability of funds.
“The CLRC is dealing with research from the legal perspective, but God only knows about the impact that is taking place in the social aspects of society; the impacts are dimensional and do impact PNG from all aspects – it is worrying,” Ms Fairio said .
The findings expected to be published soon as a discussion paper will point out the many gaps and loop-holes existing in the laws that were established to regulate alcohol and drugs.
The findings will be presented to review the existing laws.
The reason for instigating the review was due to the alarming rise in law and order problems that were mostly due to the consumption of alcohol and drugs, the increase in alcohol-related deaths and accidents-put simply the deportation of society and peace.
Other organisations making contributions to the research include stakeholders such as the Narcotics Bureau, Department of Health, South Pacific Brewery, Liquor Distributing Board and others.