Second national drug policy aims to tackle demand and supply realities

Social policy minister launches five-week consultation on drug policy that will address demand and supply issues pertaining to drugs

File photo
File photo

The Ministry for Social Policy has launced a public consultation to redraft the National Drug Policy with an aim to preventing drug abuse while addressing demand and supply for drugs.

The consultation process was launched during a press conference on Tuesday and will be open for five weeks.

“People who use drugs are just like you, and me, and everyone else,” said Prof Richard Muscat, Chairman of the National Addictions Advisory Board.

Muscat explained that the policy will focus on drug use and substance use disorder as a social and health issue, with preventive policy actions and measures to influence the demand and supply of drugs in Malta to decrease overall drug use and harm.

Some of the policy actions include increased enforcement links to tackle druf trafficking, a zero-tolerance approach to driving under the influence of drugs, and a national co-ordinating body for prevention services.

Minister Michael Falzon urged the public to give their feedback on the policy document, complaining that some people fail to. Contribute when a consutlation process is over, only to criticise the final policy when its finalised.

“Some don’t contribute, but after the consultation period is closed they find it comfortable to throw stones.”

Falzon added that each case of drug abuse has its own particular situations. “That’s the approach we need to take as a society. An approach that does not include judging or labelling people.”

He also noted some cases where people break the law while under the influence of drugs. “Society has every right to protect itself in these cirucmstances.”

The consultation document can be accessed here, while feedback will be received via email on [email protected]