Cuba marked World Anti-Drugs Day with ongoing community programs against drug abuse
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- Health and Medicine
- Science and Technology
- 06 / 28 / 2008
Thursday June 26 marked the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, and some 200 special events took place across Cuba promoting mental health issues some of which will run through July 10.
The events are fundamentally aimed at high-risk groups and vulnerable people, and involve the neighbourhood Committees for the Defense of the Revolution (CDR) as well as the Cuban Women's Federation, the Institute of Sports, Physical Education. and Recreation (INDER) plus the Ministries of Culture and Education.
Dr. Carmen Borrego Calzadilla, national coordinator of Mental Health and Addictions at the Ministry of Public Health, told the Cuban News Agency that the objective is to help people modify their lifestyles, identify problem cases and take appropriate action.
A new confidential national helpline was also launched as part of Cuba's Anti-Drug Day events. The service is free of charge and accessible 24 hours a day, from anywhere in the country, said Borrego, and calls are taken by counsellors trained to provide psychological support and, when necessary, to offer personalized assistance.
The coordinator explained that drug consumption in Cuba is not viewed as a health problem, but rather as a significant social issue. While drug use is not as high in Cuba as in many other parts of the world, the country is not complacent and continues to do all it can to address the issues.