JEDDAH: An international symposium was held to discuss ways of combating drug addiction, the Saudi Press Agency reported, with the Centre for Responsible Leadership (CRL), the Clinton Foundation, and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health taking part.
The CRL chairman and secretary-general of the Muslim World League, Dr. Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa, former US President Bill Clinton, and Dr. Ellen J. MacKenzie, the dean of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, were the participants.
Al-Issa told the symposium that the primary objective of religious and social leadership, and specialist scientific centers, was to launch initiatives to distance people from addiction and expose them to treatment.
He stressed the need to embrace and help the addicted, and the importance of the role played by society in spreading awareness about the dangerous phenomenon.
He said religious values encouraged people to help others, especially those afflicted by drug addiction, and he called for an open dialogue about drugs and the threats they posed.
Linking addiction to shame and failure would complicate the problem.
Dr. Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa, Muslim World League chief
Al-Issa said that linking addiction to shame and failure would complicate the problem and that care of the afflicted was a method that should be adopted by everyone. He emphasized the importance of conveying reassuring messages to the addicted to encourage them to voluntarily seek help, care, and treatment.
Clinton said the increase in the number of deaths caused by drug addiction during the pandemic demanded firm action by religious and scientific leaders through initiatives that would end the crisis.
MacKenzie said that addiction affected all societies and that religious and scientific leaders should work side by side for a better future free of drugs.
“Science and faith could achieve miracles in case there was a will and resolution to wipe out drug addiction,” she added.