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Landmark Launch of Zambia’s National Policy on Drug and Substance Control

The Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) unveiled the country’s inaugural National Policy on Drug and Substance Control on February 8th, 2024. 

The launch took place amidst great anticipation at the prestigious Mulungushi International Conference Centre in Lusaka, where stakeholders from various sectors gathered to witness this pivotal event.

The ceremony was graced by esteemed dignitaries including the Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security, Honorable Jack Mwiimbu, the Director General of the Drug Enforcement Commission, Mr. Nason Banda, as well as the United Nations Coordinator in Zambia, Ms. Beatrice Munthali, among others.

In his address, Honorable Mwiimbu lauded the collaborative efforts that culminated in the development of the groundbreaking policy. 

He underscored the importance of active engagement from all stakeholders in ensuring its successful implementation. 

Central to his message was the necessity of widespread public awareness campaigns to educate citizens about the policy’s implications and significance in combating drug abuse.

Echoing similar sentiments, DEC Director General Mr. Nason Banda described the policy as a guiding light towards a brighter future for Zambia. 

He emphasized its potential to not only save lives but also to mend families and restore communities. 

Mr. Banda outlined the policy’s primary objectives, placing a strong emphasis on prevention and treatment measures rather than punitive actions.

“We aim to prioritize prevention and treatment,” Mr. Banda affirmed. “Through educational initiatives and increased access to evidence-based rehabilitation services, we seek to empower our youth and provide a pathway to recovery for those ensnared by addiction.”

In her remarks, UN Coordinator Ms. Beatrice Munthali commended the Zambian government and the DEC for their unwavering dedication to tackling drug-related issues head-on. 

She applauded the alignment of the policy with the global efforts of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in advocating for balanced, health-centered approaches to drug control, rooted in respect for human rights.

The launch of Zambia’s National Policy on Drug and Substance Control represents a significant stride forward in the nation’s battle against drug abuse and its associated repercussions. 

With its focus on prevention, treatment, and collaborative action, the policy offers a promising framework for addressing this multifaceted challenge and fostering positive change within Zambian society.

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