Information About the Drug Abuse Prevention Center

The Current State of Drug Abuse and the Aims of the Center's Establishment

 The abuse of drugs, including narcotics, stimulants and solvents, has immeasurable ill effects, going beyond simple damage to lives and bodies of the user to breaking up homes, disrupting schools, workplaces and society, and sapping the nation's vitality.

 In Japan, drug dealing is estimated to contribute more than \ 700 billion annually to the revenues of organized crime, The Violent Organizations Control Law was enacted in March 1992, but now a new problem is emerging. As a result of the suppression of illegal and dishonest economic activity and its boycott by people from all walks of life, there has been an increasing trend in illegal activity in the field of narcotics ( stimulants ) dealing. In particular, there is no sign of a decline in the abuse of stimulants and solvents. Rather the trend is for its spread in the younger age groups, and the spread of cocaine from the Colombian cartels has reached crisis level. At the same time, the number of Japanese traveling abroad has exceeded 10 million people per year, and drug abuse is rising together with the increase in international interaction. Furthermore, Japan itself is being targeted for smuggling, so the menace drug abuse is advancing.
 Drug abuse is rapidly spreading among young people in many countries of the world and is becoming the most serious problem obstructing the healthy development of youths.

 Since the 1980s the abuse of drugs, such as heroine and cocaine, has been spreading virulently, and the amounts confiscated have been growing constantly. Comparing 1990 with 1980, heroin has increased tenfold and cocaine 28-fold, demonstrating a phenomenal level of abuse and presenting a threat to mankind. There are well over 50 million drug abusers worldwide, and the range of drugs abused is broadening. Drug abuse is a deepeing social problem with ill effects ranging from the mental and physical harm before our eyes to the international level, with damage to nations, terrorism against leading figures and supply of arms to leftist guerrilla groups etc. being carried out by major drug-dealing organizations.

 The United Nations Extraordinary General Meeting on Narcotics was held in February 1990 against this unfavorable background. It adopted a resolution declaring the 10 years from 1991-2000 as the "United Nations Decade Against Drug Abuse " with the aim of achieving the eradication of narcotics abuse by the year 2000 through the cooperation of all nations.

 Yearly summits (conferences of the heads of the G7 nations) also deliberate on greater efforts for problem solving through international cooperation aimed at the eradication of drug abuse.

 In Japan the Narcotics Drug Control Law has been revised to include psychotropic substances, and two narcotics law have been enacted and a succession of measures have been taken to hinder the expansion of the drug invasion.

 The fundamental policy to solve the problem of drug abuse is to strengthen controls aimed at rooting out drug dealing and to promote preventive education to nip the problem in the bud.

 The most important factor for this purpose is the diffusion of accurate information on drug abuse, that is to say information which will make clear the public the frightening physical and mental effects of this abuse and which will build a climate of public opinion that will not tolerate it.

 Activities for preventive education must obtain the broad understanding and cooperation of the public at all levels, working through national and regional government in conjunction with many volunteer and civil groups. This will form the basis of a far more effective campaign.

 With this in mind, the Drug Abuse Prevention Center was established, on approval of the Japanese Cabinet in January 1987, with the aim of promoting join civil and government educational activities for the prevention of drug abuse. The Center is fulfilling its central role through disseminating accurate information on drug abuse prevention with the aim of building a social enviroment with zero tolerance for drugs.