Booklets Targeting Cambodia’s Top Five Illegal Drugs Released

Khmer- and English-language guides outlining the characteristics of the five main illegal drugs being used in Cambodia were released Tuesday by the National Authority for Combating Drugs and the World Health Organization.

The British-funded guides to methamphetamines, heroin, inhal­ants, ketamine and cannabis contain color photographs, information about drug dependency, short- and long-term effects and treatment options.

Versions of the booklets target va­rious demographics—such as parents and teachers, health workers and the law enforcement community.

Interior Minister Sar Kheng, who is also NACD chairman, said that until now Cambodians have not had sufficient access to information about the negative impact of drugs.

“Drug users have only known that drugs make them feel happy and give them a lot of energy,” he said Tuesday during a launching ceremony for the guides at his ministry.

While the guides acknowledge the pleasure-seeking reasons why people try drugs, they also detail the serious health damage drugs can do, said Graham Shaw, the WHO technical officer who oversaw publication of the guides.

“In order for people to believe the medium- and long-term effects, you have to be honest with them about the short-term effects,” he said.

British Ambassador David Rea­der said drugs are becoming more available in Cambodia.

“The recent seizure of six tons of precursor chemicals for the production of metamphetamine…shows that Cambodia is not only a transit point, but also increasingly a possible producer for domestic and international markets,” he said.

 

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