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Hempispheric Conference Finds Prevention Best Way to Fight Drug Abuse


April 1995

The InterAmerican Commission for the Control of Drug Abuse (CICAD) has determined that broad-based prevention tactics are the best strategy for reducing drug abuse in the Western Hempisphere (David Carrasco, "Hemispheric Conference Urges Broad-based Prevention Efforts," InterPress Service, Mar. 23, 1995).

The meeting of drug abuse experts and representatives of 29 nations was held in March as a follow-up to the Summit of the Americas held last December in Miami. The participants advocated changing current drug control strategies by focusing on prevention efforts, reducing overall demand, ensuring judicial cooperation, increasing cooperation among nations, and helping to foster alternative agricultural development in countries experiencing economic hardship.

The commission also explored possible causes of the rise in drug trafficking around the world.

Anna Chisman, assistant secretary of CICAD, expressed concern over the impact that drug trafficking and drug abuse have on children. Children should be viewed as "potential drug users," she said, and special attention should be focused on preventing children in poverty from becoming involved in drug trafficking and drug abuse.

Panama's Attorney General Jose Sossa said that current efforts to curb drug abuse are insufficient. He said a more concentrated and serious effort should be made to prevent the spread of drug abuse.