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Anti Narcotics national campaign aims ‘to stop harm before it happens’

New technological resources used to target youth

By Maram Kayed - Aug 28,2018 - Last updated at Aug 28,2018

Drugs are regularly seized by the Anti-Narcotics Department, which tries to raise awareness among population about the dangers of drug use (File photo)

AMMAN — The Anti-Narcotics Department (AND) recently concluded the first half of its 2018 preventive programme, giving more than 4,000 lectures in educational and civil institutes across the country.

“The traditional job of all the departments under the Public Security Directorate is to catch criminals and punish them but, over the past few years, our approach has changed. We are trying to stop the harm before it happens rather than deal with the aftermath,” said Anwar Tarawneh, director of the AND, in a press conference on Monday.

The department has appointed its workers to perform plays, appear on talk shows, share videos on social media, hold exhibitions and raise the youth’ awareness through workshops. 

They have also expanded their talks and lectures to include malls and public places rather than only using the AND building itself, stated a report made available to The Jordan Times.

According to Tarawneh, the AND is trying to use the technological resources at hand to find more “contemporary” ways of raising awareness, as the problem is commonly present among the youth, who are no longer responsive to the “repetitive” method of lectures.

 “The first half of the programme was a success, but there are many more steps planned for the next half, which starts as of September. We have contacted over 6,000 schools and universities to include in our outreach,” said Anas Tantawii, spokesperson for the AND.

A new awareness raising method targeting kids between 12 and 14 years old was also implemented in schools through a partnership between the Ministry of Education, the Royal Health Awareness Society (RHAS) and the AND, under the title “Generations Protected”.

 “The AND provides us with information about the areas in which the kids are more likely to be exposed to narcotics. They also provide us with specialists from their department to monitor the programmes,” said Reem Alfaris, Generations Protected officer.

According to Alfaris, the AND and RAHS are trying to reach out to the youth by providing the necessary information to them with an “interactive touch” in order to leave “a lasting effect”. 

Tarawneh reiterated that point, further expressing his dismay at the media industry for promoting the use of narcotics, which "challenges the attempts of the AND to protect the youth against them".

“The effect of one movie that displays a loved star using drugs as ‘cool’ and ‘trendy’ needs years of the AND’s life to erase,” Tarawneh concluded.

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