Substance maltreatment is a multi-facetted job that plagues a whole society, irrespective of different age classs and societal categories. The effects and the sum of injury caused to the person, the household and society are diverse. Mauritius, while being a little island of about 1.2 million dwellers merely, far off from the taking powers of the planetary economic system, and niched at the bosom of the Indian Ocean has non been spared from this issue.
Harmonizing to the National Drug Control Masterplan 2004-2009, the age of induction to substance maltreatment in Mauritius starts from every bit early as 11 old ages because of equal or media influence. The principle of substance maltreatment is nevertheless non this simple. Sometimes, some people give in to the natural homo behavior which is seeking to happen the easiest flight from rough worlds and nuisances of day-to-day life, and resort to substance maltreatment.
Substance maltreatment may hold become an dismaying phenomenon of late, but drugs have been present in Mauritius for a far longer clip. The usage of drugs has been recorded to hold started with every bit early as during the Gallic colonization with illicit rum production by slaves. With the reaching of apprenticed laborers, Indians brought along with their civilization and traditions, hemps, while Chinese immigrants brought opium. These drugs were largely utilised in a socio-cultural circumstance, by grownups without being a cause for serious concern. Sixtiess brought with it the Hippie Culture to Mauritanian shores every bit good as new signifiers of drugs such as LSD, Mandrax and other psychedelic drugs which became synonymous to `` new highs '' to childs.
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The 1970ss caused an wholly different tendency of substance maltreatment, as the state of affairs changed drastically from its socio-cultural to a more significantly worrying usage. A fundamental signifier of diacetylmorphine known as `` Brown Sugar '' was introduced in Mauritius. Brown Sugar was smuggled through the airdrome, seaport and through postal packages.
The `` Amsterdam Affair '' that broke out in 1985 was the ether of the range of the drugs job in Mauritius. As an effort to expose its willingness to go forth no rock unturned in the combat against drug trafficking, statute law was amended and decease punishment was introduced for proven sellers. No drug seller have nevertheless been executed because of the thorny legal issues environing capital penalty. A sudden downward tendency was observed in 1987 and continued until 1990 after which indexs revealed a little addition in illicit trafficking and ingestion.
In 2003, the `` White Lady '' was a psychoactive drug opted by most drug users. Post 2005, Subutex, which is usually used as intervention on those dependent on narcotic hurting slayers, and opiates, shortly became the most sought-after drug in Mauritius.
Substance Abuse and Repercussions
Significant societal effects include the decomposition of the household unit, with the emotional and psychological wellbeing of household members being disquieted. Substance maltreatment and delinquency go manus in manus ; as sometimes dependence and backdown syndromes overcome ground and push nuts towards larceny, force and similar such Acts of the Apostless to secure the fiscal agencies to obtain their needed dose. The 2009 World Drug Report shows that figure of drug-related offenses has increased by 18 % from 2006 to 2007.
Substance maltreatment affects the personal wellness of drugs nuts themselves. Withdrawal and apathy are a few of the psychological disfunctions they might confront. The impact of dependence can be far making. Cardiovascular disease, shot, malignant neoplastic disease, and lung disease can all be caused by drug maltreatment.
Because of needle sharing behavior, a well-established norm among IDUs as has been shown by the IDUs Respondent Driven Sampling, which is explained by the increased costs and low fiscal agencies of IDUs every bit good as Police Services uninterrupted still hunt of IDUs in ownership of drug gears, blood borne diseases such as AIDS or Hepatitis are easy transmitted, reverberations of which is ruinous both for the IDU and society at big. IDUs who get affected by such blood borne diseases will frequently through a Domino consequence, affect their sexual spouses, while pregnant adult females who are IDUs run the hazard of polluting their unborn kids with such. Injecting drug usage is the cause for an increasing proportion of HIV infections in many parts of the universe, Mauritius included. It is estimated that between 11 and 21 million people worldwide inject drugs, and of those, between 0.8 and 6.6 million are infected with HIV.
Health services that have to be provided to drug nuts include intervention of diseases which may develop in drug nuts as a effect of substance maltreatment, every bit good as costs of rehabilitation services, which is frequently overlooked by most individuals. The cost of non-generic antiretroviral intervention per individual per annum may amount up to $ 1500, averaging to about Rs 50, 000 based on current exchange rates.
Fiscal effects on the economic system are sedate, with the parallel running of a black economic system with net incomes obtained from the illicit traffic, every bit good as with the effects of drugs abuse of members of the work force which reduces productiveness.
Conventional Approaches to Substance maltreatment
Mauritius has ratified the United Nations Drug Control Conventions. It has besides ratified the 2000 Convention on Trans-National Organized Crime and is besides signer of both the African Union and the SADC Drug Control Protocol. Existing legal models that were used, and still are used to command drugs supply and demand decrease are:
a ) The Dangerous Drug Act 2000
B ) The Pharmacy Act 1983
degree Celsius ) The Financial Intelligence and Anti Money Laundering Act 2002
Drugs Demand Reduction
Drugs demand decrease is one of the attack used to battle the substance maltreatment crisis at its nucleus. Drug demand decrease refers to policies and programmes directed towards cut downing the consumer demand for narcotic drug and psychotropic substances as covered by the three chief International Drug Control Conventions, as mentioned above. The National Agency for Treatment and Rehabilitation of Substance Abusers ( NATReSA ) is a parastatal organic structure under the auspices of the Ministry of Social Security, National Solidarity and Reform Institutions which was set up by an Act of Parliament in 1996 and it is responsible for all demand decrease activities in the state. By carry oning a figure of bar activities in the community, schools and the workplace, NATReSA uses instruction as its chief vehicular arm to seek to decrease the demand for drugs. It provides support to a figure of NGOs engaged in bar, intervention and rehabilitation work. The National Prevention Unit set up by the NATReSa in 2002 has set up a Demand Reduction Integrated Program, from which more than 25 parts have already benefitted boulder clay day of the month.
Supply Side Reduction
As to provide side decrease, the jurisprudence enforcement side is actively involved and a figure of establishments runing under the auspices of different ministries are responsible for drug control activities.
The Anti Drug Smuggling Unit ( ADSU ) , the National Coast Guard and the Special Mobile Force are particular units of the Mauritius Police Force, working under the bid of the Commissioner of Police involved in drug control. The Passport and Immigration Office besides operates under the supervising of the Commissioner of Police and has a function in the showing of riders at the haven and airdrome while Custom Investigation and Intelligence Unit plays a notable function in the checking of containers and other baggage come ining the state. The Pharmacy Section of the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life ( MOH & A ; QL ) is responsible for the issue of licences for the import of licit narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.
Finally, Mauritius Post Services work in close cooperation with the above units to exert near control to vouch that drugs do non come in the state through letters and postal bundles and the Forest Department aids through its field work in woods, mountains and province lands, and is instrumental in observing cannabis cultivation.
Harmonizing to the 2010 World Drug Report, Mauritius is the state with the highest opiates ingestion prevalence in the African continent with an estimation of 1.9 % . This demonstrates clearly that conventional attacks to the Mauritanian drug job have non met outlooks in footings of efficiency in undertaking it. Alternatively, new factors borne due to a quickly altering society contributed to the rendering them inefficient - opening up of air spaces which while increasing benefits from the touristry and travel industry has besides increased the hazards of drugs being brought into the state by aliens, enlargement of the offshore sector through which big amounts of money theodolites through Mauritius, beginnings of which remain confidential to the offshore companies and the unfastened secret being that sometimes, portion of these monies go into the black economic system, financing drug minutess and poorness and harlotry which are cardinal conducive factors every bit good to the enlargement of the Mauritanian drug market among others. The escalation of drug usage became a cause for concern as the chief vehicle for substance maltreatment being through injection, this implied a heightened hazard of transmittal of blood borne diseases among the IDU population and hence a greater figure of HIV positive and hepatitis instances amongst others.
An wholly new attack was therefore adopted to counter this contingency, known as the injury decrease attack. The injury decrease which consists of needle exchange plans every bit good as dolophine hydrochloride permutation therapy implied a wholly different position, the nucleus rule being acknowledging the being of a substance maltreatment issue in a community, which frequently is pig-headedly resisted by governments, therefore exposing the immense trouble in the execution of this method.
Over the old ages, legion observations have been made by journalists and Non-Governmental Organisations ( NGOs ) representatives on the structural alterations of the drug state of affairs in Mauritius, the distressing dimensions of the issue of substance maltreatment and its dealingss with transmittal of blood borne diseases. Harm decrease nevertheless, being a comparatively new construct in Mauritius dating merely back to 2006, remains a instead undiscovered way.
Hence, the intent of this thesis would be to convey focal point on Needle Exchange Programs ( NEPs ) as they are carried out in the Mauritanian context. While running through a general overview of the injury decrease attack, the principle behind it will be examined along with execution timeline of NEP in Mauritius. Policy facets will be reviewed and an analysis of the legal background of NEPs in Mauritius will be presented, which will dwell of a survey salient characteristics of the bing Torahs and NEPs and finally the NEP particular model which is the HIV/AIDS Act 06. NEP in prisons, being a delicate and problematic issue, will be considered and the chance of such in Mauritanian prisons discussed. The thesis will be concluded by measuring the Mauritanian NEP, and suggesting recommendations of possible ways to pitch more towards efficiency and best pattern with respects to Mauritian Torahs and needle exchange.
Preliminary Chapter: Understanding Harm Decrease
The Basic Concept
Harm decrease refers to policies, programmes and patterns utilized and applied with the aim of decreasing hazards associated with the usage of drugs by substance maltreaters. Subdivided into needle exchange plans and dolophine hydrochloride permutation therapies, injury decrease is viewed as a far-reaching advanced attack to the job of substance maltreatment and its related hazards. The outstanding characteristic of this fresh method is the extremist displacement in focal point to the bar of injury caused by substance maltreatment, instead than on the bar of drug usage itself. This entails recognizing the being of a substance maltreatment job in society which in bend indicates the inability or sometimes even failure of concerned governments in undertaking the drug job.
This attack was frequently discussed in Mauritius after acknowledgment of the menace of HIV every bit good as other blood borne diseases which were distributing through shooting drug usage. Stakeholders including the National AIDS Secretariat agreed that injury decrease does non sabotage but alternatively complements attacks seeking to forestall or diminish drug ingestion. It is based on the acknowledgment that many people throughout the universe continue to utilize drugs despite the best of attempts to forestall drug usage and is of a non-judgmental and non-punitive attitude towards the ingestion of intoxicant and drugs.
The Implementation of Harm Reduction In Mauritius
Harm decrease is implemented in Mauritius through the vehicular plans of Methadone Substitution Therapy ( MST ) and Needle Exchange Programs ( NEPs ) .
MST normally works by cut downing cravings and barricading 'highs ' from diacetylmorphine. It does non supply the same euphoric haste the drug user under MST will no longer see utmost highs and depressions that consequences from the degree of diacetylmorphine in the blood.
MST around Mauritius is controlled and supervised by the National Detoxification Centre For MST found at Cite Barkly in Beau Bassin. MST plans carried out may be either residential lasting for 15 yearss merely or day-care. Drug users are induced on dolophine hydrochloride under medical supervising and doses are accordingly adjusted. There are 16 methadone distributing points around the island from which drug users, after holding gone through initial initiation receive their day-to-day doses of dolophine hydrochloride.
Needle exchange plans forms portion of the injury decrease scheme and is funded by the State and partly by international administrations such as the Global Fund. Mauritius has pioneered government-run needle exchange plans throughout the African Continent as both NGOs and the Mauritanian Government through MOH & A ; QL both carry out NEPs.
The plan offers a comprehensive bundle of services which include exchange of used acerate leafs, HIV guidance and testing, proviso of rubbers and intoxicant swabs and referrals for rehabilitation services ( where requested ) every bit good as other HIV-related services.
Rationale Behind Harm Reduction
Harm Reduction and Human Rights
The injury decrease attack to drugs is based on a strong pledge to public wellness and human rights. Harm decrease intercessions have found support among legion United Nations ( UN ) homo rights mechanisms, specifically in context of HIV bar and the right to achieve the highest accomplishable criterion of wellness.
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights ( ICESCR ) And Harm Reduction.
The Committee on the Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights ( CESCR ) has recommended many times that States Parties scale up their injury decrease programmes in order to run into their duties under Article 12 of the ICESCR. In its Concluding Observations on Ukraine ( 2007 ) , the Committee stated that it was 'gravely concerned at 'the limited entree by drug users to substitution therapy, ' and recommended that the province party 'make drug permutation therapy and other HIV bar services more accessible for drug users ' .
Article 15 of the ICESCR provides for everyone to 'benefit from scientific realizations and its applications. ' Considered against the background of injection driven HIV, this implies the right for any individual to profit from plans backed by solid grounds, therefore harm decrease plans, demoing that they can most expeditiously contain and treat HIV/AIDS and such drug related likely diseases.
In 2009, the UN Human Rights Council adopted a declaration on human rights and HIV/AIDS that unambiguously provided support to harm decrease plans, including needle exchange.
Research Based Rationale
Despite the continued attempts of concerned governments, some of which being holding rather a considerable bearing on the state 's budget every bit good, substance maltreatment still remains one major cause for concern in Mauritius, it holding the 2nd highest per capita rate of opiate usage in the universe after Iran.
Manners of transmittal of HIV and blood borne infections steadily shifted from heterosexual activities to shooting drug usage as from the twelvemonth 2002 to 2005, with an exponential rise in the figure of detected instances to make a extremum of 921 instances in 2005. 92 % of all new HIV infections in Mauritius by 2005 were shooting drug users. While this alteration was most probably a consequence of increased HIV proving among IDUs in assorted establishments including the prisons, and did non needfully stand for a brusk addition of new HIV infections, the figures were sufficient to measure up the epidemic as a concentrated one and were a clear warning of a latent job among the IDUs population. A speedy and efficient action in response to the quickly intensifying increasing transmittal of HIV was therefore required, accordingly climaxing into kicking off of injury decrease activities in 2006.
The consequences obtained from the recent Injecting Drug User HIV Surveillance Survey, in Mauritius is no beginning of comfort: - among the HIV positive detected instances as at December 2009, 73 % consisted of members of the IDU population. HIV prevalence is 47.4 % and Hepatitis C ( HVC ) prevalence is 97.3 % .
The usage of non-sterile acerate leafs and shooting drug equipment which is an highly efficient manner of HIV and blood borne diseases transmittal remains a cardinal factor declining the HIV epidemic among IDUs around the Earth and in Mauritius, while 61.2 % of IDUs reported shooting two to three times a twenty-four hours, 29.3 % among them reported shooting with a antecedently used acerate leaf in the past month.
Prior to the induction of syringe exchange plans in 2006, needle and syringe sharing in the old three months was reported by 80 % of IDUs. However, in the last three months of the twelvemonth 2009, 30 % merely of IDUs reported sharing a needle or syringe at last injection and less than half reported occasional sharing of injection equipment or pulling up drug solution from a common container shared by many, research-based groundss stressing wholly along on the demand for continuance of harm decrease activities in Mauritius.
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