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The Holy Father, Pope Francis has described drug addiction as an evil which deprives its victims of their freedom and make them to “become slaves of a dependence”. He however added that this does not affect their dignity as people and children of God. Pope Francis made this remarks while addressing leaders of anti-drug agencies around the world at the end of the 31st International Drug Enforcement Conference, held recently in Rome.
Speaking against the legalization of the use of drugs like marijuana; as being currently advocated and endorsed by some countries of the Western World, the Holy Father stated that: “With evil, there can be no yielding or compromise. To think that harm can be reduced by permitting drug addicts to use narcotics, in no way resolves the problem.”
Describing drug abuse as a scourge that has trapped many in the society, Pope Francis stated that drug addicts are victims “who have lost their freedom in exchange for this slavery , the slavery of a dependence that we might define as chemical. It is certainly a new form of slavery, like many others that plague man today, and society in general”.
Speaking on the causes of drug addiction, the Holy Father remarked that there are many factors “including the absence of family, social pressure, propaganda by traffickers, the desire for new experiences and so on”
The Pope pointed out that many people fall prey to drug dependence because “worldliness offers us a wide range of possibilities for achieving ephemeral happiness, which eventually becomes poison, which corrodes, corrupts and kills. The person is destroyed, along with all those around him. The initial desire for escape, seeking momentary happiness, becomes the devastation of the person as a whole, with repercursions at all social levels.”
While stressing the need for proper understanding of the scope of the drug problem, Pope Francis urged that, in the attempt to cure those affected, every person must be valued and appreciated in his or her dignity, so as to be cured. The pope added that education is a major factor in curbing the demand for drugs along with “extensive social programmes oriented towards health and family support.


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