Sơn La youth turn their backs on drugs

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Members of the local Youth Union go to households to provide information about harmful effects of drugs. — Photo vov.vn

SƠN LA — Youths born and raised in Lũng Xá Village, a drug hotspot in Vân Hồ District, Sơn La Province, have been witness to how drugs can affect their community.

In the past, some Vân Hồ District’s youth union members and local young people were involved in the illegal transportation of drugs, or were users themselves, because they were not aware of the harmful effects. However, in recent years, people’s awareness, especially union members and young people in the village, has improved.

Teaming up with local forces, Vân Hồ District’s young people are now participating in drug prevention and control to raise public awareness of the harmful effects of drugs, contributing to peace, happiness and socio-economic development.

After many years of fierce fighting with drug-related criminals, the situation has improved, but the war on drugs isn’t over yet.

Giàng A Phá, secretary of the youth union of Lũng Xá Village, said low education and limited awareness about the effects of drugs is one of the difficulties.

“The union hopes that local authorities at all levels will step up awareness-raising activities on drug prevention and control, and help young people develop their economy, in order to reduce this evil,” Phá told Dân Tộc và Miền Núi (Ethnic Minority and Mountainous Region) newspaper.

In Co Lóng Village, youth union members regularly visit local households to disseminate about the harmful effects of drugs. They have also mobilised union members and young people to actively participate in the union activities, help develop the economy and stay away from drugs.

“Now, none of the union members in the village are involved in the drug trade,” said Giàng A Xanh, Co Lóng Village’s secretary of the youth union.

People in Lóng Luông Commune, home of the Mông ethnic people, still face many difficulties, and the socio-economic situation is difficult.

Secretary of the local youth union Sồng A Sếnh said they are coordinating with other agencies to improve education and raise awareness on drugs among local people, especially young people who return from drug addiction treatment.

Sếnh said young people who used to be drug addicts now obey the law and participated in union activities, as well as social-economic development.

Understanding the harmful effects of drugs and drug abuse, local families advise their family members to say “no” to drugs and instead focus on production and economic development.

Years ago, in Vân Hồ District, about 20 per cent of youth union members, young people and their family members were involved in drug activities. Now, the figure is only about 3 per cent, Sếnh said.

Vân Hồ District’s youth union has also focused on disseminating and raising awareness of the harmful effects of drugs on young people.

Many “Say No To Drugs” campaigns have been implemented to boost young people’s role in preventing drug-related crimes and improve coordination with the police, said Giàng Thị Máy, secretary of Vân Hồ’s Youth Union.

In order to prevent and repel the evil of drugs among young people, it is necessary to have more attention to each family and the whole community, Máy said. — VNS

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