Hallo. My grateful greeting to all of you, the organizers, who worked passionately for this event, and the participants who brushed aside other important obligations to show support and care by coming to this gathering.
I am honored to be invited. Though I cannot personally be there with you, my heart is with you, and my best wishes for your endeavor. I wish also what you wish: a healthy, survived, happy, peaceful planet. And we are working together towards this goal.
We have come a long way. How far may surprise us. And it may surprise us that even war is not the worst thing that happens. There are far worse killers. If you allow, I will name them for your sake. Perhaps for my sake as well. We live together on the same planet, we have the same concern. So what concerns you, concerns me.
There was a time when humans killed other humans – even just to eat. Now, doing so is a crime. We call it murder – people killing people, the most heinous crime of all crimes. Whether old or young, light-skinned or dark, Christian or Muslim, Buddhist or Sikh – to take the life of a human is in some places still punishable with one’s own life being taken in return.
But now humanity is being called to an even more elevated and compassionate moral level of conduct: a future day is dawning where killing animals, too, shall be called a crime. It has happened in some places already. In America a teen has just been recently judged as to have committed a crime by killing, serially, 19 cats.
In the civilized society that should be, we protest war, we hold rallies to stop the senseless killing of human against human, we plead with governments to enact policies of peace, we judge the murderer as one whose standards are less than human, as one guilty of an act so unimaginable that the person is shunned by society for the rest of his or her life.
An entire elaborate legal system is established, an enormous squad of personnel and forces are employed to impose punishment for the reprehensible act of causing death to another human, for robbing others of their beloved or their kin.
Evidence is gathered, juries are summoned, the most learned judges preside, armed guards stand watch, impenetrable prisons are built. Police risk their safety in defense of human life, and schools and families teach moral conduct – all to prevent such crimes from occurring. We take much time, energy, and our collective resources to protect life thus.
One day, we will also protest against the murder of our animal co-inhabitants, and by extension, we will denounce anything in the future that kills. Because killing is a crime that must be stopped. These silent killers, they are unnoticed by most of us. They are in our home every day. I will try to point them out. It may surprise you, it may not. To some of you, it is obvious, to some of you it will be the first time that you realize who our enemy truly is.
The Top Killers KILLER #1: MEAT
KILLER #2: ALCOHOL
KILLER #3: DRUGS Now we come to killer number three. Namely, DRUGS. Drugs destroy lives, intelligence and function of countless of our kind, wreaking grief and havoc on families, darkening or terminating people’s future, youths’ future especially, as youths are impressionable and easily fall into this kind of temptation. Drugs can do all that. Drugs kill, often at a tragically young age. Is this not an intolerable crime begging to be stopped? Allow me to tell those who are still not informed.
SOME OF THE TRAGIC TOLLS OF ADDICTIVE DRUG ABUSE: Over 200,000 deaths each year. Costs of US$181 billion each year in the United States, US$33 billion in the UK. Lifetime cost of current drug addiction amounts to US$575 billion in the UK.HARMFUL EFFECTS:
Permanent memory loss
Higher infant mortality
Increased crime and violence
CRIME AND VIOLENCE
Illegal drugs are a factor in 50% of burglaries in the United Kingdom each year.
In the US, 60% of people arrested each year have been taking illegal drugs.
Six hundred fifty heroin addicts in the US committed 70,000 crimes in a three-month period.
US businesses loseUS$100 billion per year due to employees’ drug and alcohol abuse.
Australians pay US$53 billion per year for health care, law enforcement and lost productivity of drug users.
52 people die each day due to drugs in the US.
In Canada, substance abuse is attributed to 21 percent of total deaths and 23 percent of potential life years lost due to early mortalities.
SOME BENEFITS OF DRUG ABSTINENCE & TREATMENT
In the US, treatment for drug addiction has been shown to save lives, reduce crime and rebuild families, along with:
69% of those treated being drug-free one year after treatment
64% reduction in arrests one year after treatment
A vaccine has been developed in the United Kingdom that can help wean cocaine addicts by preventing a “high” from the drug.
Research confirms that an herbal supplement, N-acetylcysteine (NAC), helps reduce cocaine cravings and may also be effective in treating heroin addiction.
When used as a supplement to standard drug counseling, a computer program providing outpatient therapy proves helpful for addicts in becoming drug free.
A California, USA study found that for every US$1 invested in drug treatment, US$7 was saved through reduced crime, health and welfare costs, and increased income stability.
60% of cocaine and heroin in the US is consumed by people who get arrested in the same year; thus, treatment that helps them to overcome drug addiction reduces crime and market demand for drugs.
A doctor in Arizona, USA identified a new outpatient treatment for methamphetamine addicts, showing an over 60% success rate in rehabilitation.
Since 1991, when substitution treatment became available for all heroin users in Zurich, Switzerland, the number of new addicts dropped greatly.
Thirty percent of US inmates who were able to receive drug treatment while in prison remained drug free, with reduced likelihood of being arrested again.
Seventy-six percent of people participating in both drug treatment programs in prison and post-prison treatment in the US remained drug-free, with increased rates of law-abiding citizenry.
Twenty years of research in the US has demonstrated that drug treatment programs are effective in reducing crime, as well as improving the health and social function of participants.
The Washington State Institute for Public Policy Research in the US finds that treatment programs for youth drug users are effective and can save the state between US$1,900 to US$31,200 per child.
Drug-free workplace programs are found to result in:
Better employee health
Decreased use of and expenses for health benefits
Lower corporate insurance premium costs
The following response was rated as the best answer to a question posed on “Yahoo Ask” regarding the benefits of being drug-free:
No fear of police
No fear of needle-infected site on the body
No fear of 'frying' the brain
No fear of 'impaired' driving and thus accidents
Delight in being free to observe the world (vision, touch, taste, speech or hearing) without compromised senses.
Joy of being fully functional in a crisis or emergency
Ability to tell others about the joys of a drug-free life
Through the use of satellite remote sensors, China has been able to remove virtually all opium plantations and heroin processing locations.
New Zealand Police Association suggests parental approaches that may help children avoid involvement with drugs, such as:
Providing constructive encouragement
Talking and listening as a family
Instilling values that promote inner self esteem
For International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, Thailand, China, and Cambodia publicly incinerates illegal drugs.
The United Kingdom government has implemented budget reforms to encourage drug users to attend rehabilitation courses.
Pakistan and China work together to reduce drug trafficking between their borders.
The Colombian Navy successfully intercepted 10 tons of cocaine and stopped it from being smuggled into the country by submarine.
A three-year anti-drug campaign in China raises awareness and increases the number of people who remain drug-free.