Drug abuse a concern

National, Normal

The National, Friday November 1st, 2013

 DRUGS and HIV/AIDS will destroy the youths of Papua New Guinea in 20 years if not addressed properly, a narcotics expert says.

Felix Oltomo, co-founder of Narcotic, who holds a masters degree in narcotics from Flinders University, in South Australia, said the drug problem in PNG was far from over and the epidemic of drug abuse and infiltration by drug lords into PNG was very serious.

Oltomo said the organisation tasked to address the situation, the National Narcotics Bureau, had no national policy or corporate plan as required by the UN Convention of 1961.

“I understand there is nothing and now there is no board in place, when it is the only organisation tasked to liaise with the police department,” he said.

Oltomo said the way ahead was for Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, who is the Police Minister, to look into the organisation before it was too late to stop drugs destroying PNG and its youths.

“In 20 years’ time, the youth population will be destroyed by drugs and HIV, and we need to address it by collaborating with the Department of Education and other stakeholders,” he said.

Oltomo, a private consultant, undertaking another masters degree in strategic management at the University of Papua New Guinea, said the nation needed to be prepared for the worst but good policies and plans would eradicate the problems.