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StateSec Raed Arafat: 'Drug use statistics point to ever-growing national market'

Inquam Photos / George Calin
Raed Arafat

Ministry of Internal Affairs Secretary of State Raed Arafat said at the beginning of debates of the EU Drugs Coordinators Meeting this Tuesday that statistical data on drug use and related crime points to an "ever-growing illicit national market".

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"Statistical data and information on drug use and drug-related crime outlines an ever-growing illicit national drug market, with all drug types - synthetic ones included - having been identified on the national territory, along with the rising prevalence of drug use, which requires a prompt approach both in terms of public health and of street safety. In this context, the integrated and proactive approach to the phenomenon becomes essential for its effective management. Thus, the establishment and development of a coordination mechanism responds to the need for consistency and unity, strategic action according to the European requirements in the field," Arafat said at the event organized by the National Anti-drug Agency.

He mentioned that the National Anti-drug Agency was created as an institution under the authority of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, being tasked with providing a "proactive, coordinated, fast and efficient" response of the state institutions, adapted to the evolution of the drug phenomenon in Romania, but also in the EU.

Director of the National Anti-drug Agency Constantin Negoita said that the meetings of the national drug coordinators are organized half-yearly, having as topic the debate on anti-drug policies at national and European level, the trends, risks and challenges in the field.

"For Romania, this meeting provides the formal framework encouraging debate and constructive dialogue on concrete subjects in the field of the consistent coordination of anti-drug policies. Meeting debates will tackle best practices for curbing drug demand and supply, the law and institutional architecture, drug phenomenon updates, management and strategic approaches, as well as national initiatives and projects. Through this meeting we also seek to promote at European level the national activity in the field drug policies coordination, the results achieved, lessons learned and multipliers," Negoita said.

Attending the event hosted by the Palace of Parliament are representatives from each EU member state, from the anti-drug coordination structures, as well as from the European Commission, the Secretariat of the EU Council, the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), the Permanent Representation of Romania in Brussels, as well as representatives of the Romanian authorities and civil society.



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