Kazakh Government Outlines Measures to Combat Drug Addiction and Trafficking

ASTANA – Kazakh Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov signed a July 5 government decree approving the Comprehensive Plan to Combat Drug Addiction and Drug Trafficking for 2023-2025, reported the Prime Minister’s press service.

Photo credit: telanganatoday.com.

The document was prepared following instructions by President Kassym Jomart Tokayev in his state-of-the-nation address in September last year. It takes into account the current global trends in the world, which sees an increase in new psychoactive substances and changes in production and distribution of drugs, including on darknet, through messengers, crypto wallets and other means.

The plan, which was discussed by the expert community, aims to consolidate the efforts of society, civil institutions and all government agencies to improve the effectiveness of drug prevention and reduce the number of drug addicts.

Due to an increasing number of detected cases of clandestine production of synthetic substances, measures have been taken to eliminate drug laboratories and plantations in impassable areas using aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles.

Other key priorities include tackling prescription drug addiction, cannabis trafficking, and detecting opiates, including those coming from Afghanistan along the so-called northern route. The plan envisages establishing border checkpoints with screening equipment for detecting drugs, precursors and equipment for drug labs.

To ensure a timely response to new challenges and threats, a set of measures have been developed to improve the material and technical base of state agencies and forensic examination bodies to accelerate the study of new synthetic drugs, blood samples and other biomaterials taken during medical examination of citizens.

Regarding treatment of drug addiction and rehabilitation of drug addicts, the document envisages an increase in the number of minors with long-term remission from drug addiction from 15% to 20%, and the coverage of drug users with medical and social rehabilitation from 26% to 30%.

The plan also outlines measures to decrease the number of people silently using drugs by 2025.

In addition to improving the system of preventing drug addiction, new treatment and rehabilitation centers will be opened, with existing ones modernized.

Approximately 53.1 billion tenge ($119.9 million) will be allocated to implement the plan’s measures to improve the legislative and regulatory framework, increase the effectiveness of countering the challenges of the modern drug business, strengthen international cooperation, and reduce the level of drug addiction in Kazakhstan.

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