Bullying… a term we hear often, and mostly associate it with young children or unruly teenagers. What is bullying and why does it happen? Bullying can be defined as unwanted, repeated behaviour which can have long lasting problems for both the bully and the person being bullied. Bullying includes actions such as threatening, embarrassing someone continuously, calling someone names with the intention of provoking or causing harm, spreading rumours, excluding people and being physically or mentally abusive.
The 26th of June commemorates the Word Day Against Drugs and Illicit Trafficking. This day has been established by the United Nations, with the UN Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC) director issuing a message each year to direct efforts related to the eradication of substance abuse and illicit trafficking. The motto for this year is “Share Facts on Drugs, Save Lives”.
On Saturday 26th of June 2021, a thanksgiving ceremony, presided by the President of Malta, H.E. George Vella and the First Lady, was held at the OASI Centre to commemorate the OASI Foundation’s 30th anniversary. The 26th of June is also the International Day against Drug Abuse. The President awarded the Director General Fr Emmanuel Cordina with the OASI Foundation award, for his years of service towards OASI and society.
OASI Foundation is not against the person who uses any kind of psychoactive substances.
OASI Foundation does not agree with the use of any psychoactive substances for the socialization, relaxation or feel-good purposes.
OASI Foundation has been promoting healthy and natural approaches and methods to gain satisfaction, relaxation and long-term life enjoyment rather than reverting to drugs and addictive behaviours.
OASI Foundation views this White Paper in the light of normalization, which is a non-static phenomenon, and hence forewarns that other psychoactive substances will, in due time, be impelled the same route.
The organisations mentioned express their grave concern about a number of reforms proposed in the White Paper on the 'responsible use of Cannabis'. This White Paper proposes a fundamental shift in direction towards further acceptance of the culture of use of Cannabis.
Chris Bonnici from the Primary Prevention Team was recently interviewed by Newsbook about OASI's work in the community, the basis of the treatment for addiction offered, and how the pandemic has affected the Foundation and those who seek its help.
You can watch the interview on Newsbook.
Here, together, we are issuing this statement as our contribution to the public discussion:
- ESPAD (Sedqa, 2019) indicates that 12% of 15-year-olds said that they have tried cannabis in their lives. This rate has remained stable since 2015. In fact, there has been a slight decrease. This rate is much lower than the European average. This augurs well and indicates that when the policy on the personal use of cannabis was not changed, the rate was maintained.
- The 2014 Drug Dependence (Treatment not Imprisonment) Act was an effective law and a step forward for persons caught with small quantities for personal use, who now appear before the commissioners for justice and are given a warning or a contravention. Due to the changes in the law there has been a drastic reduction in people being sentenced to prison for personal use unless on a series of other cases. This law has also led to dozens of people with serious drug cases and drug addiction seeking help instead of being sentenced to prison.
- In Malta there is a wide range and substantial investment by the state and voluntary organizations, on services for drug abusers. These services will be greatly strengthened through the opening of the Tal-Ibwar Therapeutic Center for Adolescents, funded by the Government.
- Steps have been taken in Malta in the field of medicinal use, through which one already has access for the substance if it can be of help to persons in particular conditions.
A recent interview with social workers working in the field of addiction, including OASI CE Noel Xerri, focused on the rise in the use of crack cocaine in Malta and its effects. The interview also looked into how people report starting to use cocaine, and the differences between the use and effects of cocaine powder and crack cocaine.
The OASI Foundation is committed to working towards reducing our carbon footprint, in line with our guiding principles of healthy living for the betterment of society. We are happy to report that, through ERDF funding, a number of solar panels have been installed at the OASI premises, allowing us to offset the power we utilize from the national grid.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all persons involved in this project.