DRUG Enforcement Commission (DEC) Director General Mary Chirwa says the problem of drug and substance abuse is rampant and needs an urgent solution.

Speaking during the launch of a book written by former national planning minister Lucky Mulusa’s son Michael, Chirwa said families and communities needed to come together to fight the scourge.

The book is titled, “Lungs of Steel: From Blunting to Anointing”

“The problem of drug abuse is really rampant and needs an urgent solution. I am a strong believer that we can achieve anything that we set our minds on. I therefore do not subscribe to the insinuations that the fight against drug abuse is a failed one. I believe that if all of us work together as families and communities, we can triumph in the fight and have a society that is free of drug abuse. Families are the primary prevention for drug and substance abuse among children and adolescents. Allow me to remind all parents of their critical role in helping young people shape and develop their lives without drugs. Parents must talk to our children about the deadly effects of drug and substance abuse. We need to warn our young people that abusing drugs can severely affect their personal development and hinder the socio-economic development of our nation. We must remember that prevention is always better than cure. Let us take keen interest in monitoring the activities of our children. We need to know who our children are hanging out with and what they are doing in their spare time,” she said.

She said there was also need to fight financial crimes and money laundering.

“We must also fight financial crimes and money laundering which leads some parents to lavish their children with huge sums of money which in turn leads them into various illicit activities including drug and substance abuse. Drug traffickers are another category of people that must not be entertained in our societies as they are responsible for the availability of drugs on our streets which people then begin to abuse. The effects of these activities are seen, it is these children that are bullies in schools and make it difficult for other learners to get an education because of their behavior. But in contrast, those that have worked for their money do not lavish it on their children in such a manner. They are more interested in ensuring that the children are taught morals and values that stir them to hard work rather than wanting things on a silver plate,” Chirwa said.

Chirwa commended Micheal on his book and his triumph against drug addiction.

“I want to commend Michael Mulusa for being brave enough not only by coming out of the problem but also having the courage to tell his story to the world. Being a son of a prominent person, Michael brings the message home that the problem of drug and substance abuse does not only affect the poor in our society but also affects the dignified people in our communities. His father, having been a Minister at some point would have been a hindrance to him telling the story which is helping many families today, but against all odds, you were able to breakthrough and come to the podium to tell the story,” said Chirwa.

And Mulusa said there was need to stiffen punishment for drug traffickers and users in the country.