September 16, 2019
 In Opioid Crisis

Country: Malta
Delegate Name: Abby Grocki

The opioid crisis has been a decades long occurring epidemic beginning in the 1990s. Countries around the world have observed the threats and negative effects that are brought forward with the abusive use of these drugs. Opioids are drugs used in pain treatment medications that can derive to morphine, codeine, and heroin. All these are highly addictive and lead to constant misuse and trafficking around the globe. The crisis for the majority, is an out of hand issue in many cases as each national government has limited legal use. In addition to this, opioids can be produced without the need of agriculture thus producing an easier trafficking source from multiple locations. The United Nations must come together keeping in mind the medical need for drugs and what harm it can cause when used in an improper manner.
The Maltese body responsible for any drug-related matters is called the Advisory Board on Drugs and Addiction. The Maltese government, and the drug prevention association have come together and spent approximately 5.5 million on drug reduction activities based on a 2012 report. Other legal matters regarding the opioid drug use in Malta include how the government views drugs and how to handle situations with a crisis like this at hand. Malta does not exactly recognize illegal use of psychotropic and narcotic drugs, but may be used in court as a trafficking intent. If an individual is found in possession of drugs for personal use, they will be tried in front of the Commissioner of Justice. If found guilty, a fine ranging anywhere from 50-125 euros depending on the drug. A second offense would result in a 2 year attendance of the drug offenders rehabilitation board, and failure to comply will result in a 3 month imprisonment. In addition to this, if an individual in Malta is found in possession of one cannabis plant for personal uses, there will be a consequenting mandatory prison term. With all this in mind, Maltas 2020 drug reports showed that 2.60 per 1000 of the population were high risk opioid users. This is a call for action for a crisis that should not be taking place this far into 2023.
Malta would look favorably upon the prevention at the source for the infiltration of opioid usage. To do this, coming from Maltas perspective, drugs originating in Afghanistan are mainly smuggled/ trafficked to this nation via Turkey, North Africa, or Western European countries. Other drugs can be seen to be imported from other nations such as Spain, Italy, and Netherlands due to great geographical accessibility. In addition to this, creating a general awareness of the opioid crisis through schools and public events is one of Malta’s primary focuses. The NGOs Caritas and the OASI Foundation run a range of prevention programs that are beneficial for this goal. Malta does not wish to impose on any other nations national sovereignty, and will expect to find allies in Italy, France, Norway, and Spain. These steps have the potential to create a major impact on the growing issue that is the opioid crisis, and will hopefully bring the epidemic to its end.