Is there a link between drug abuse and human trafficking?

Human trafficking is one of the very sad realities we live with. In order to prioritise your safety and that of the people you care about, it’s important to be clued up on all the different ways traffickers take advantage of their victims so that you can be on guard. Here’s how human trafficking and drug use are linked.

Effects of drug abuse

Among many other long term and short term effects, drug abuse can lead to addiction. Addiction can affect many aspects of your life, including your health, relationships and work or school. It’s common for people who abuse substances to also find themselves stealing money and items around the home in order to purchase their drug of choice. This is why it’s extremely important to drink responsibly, and avoid experimenting with drugs.

Drugs can be used as bait

A lot of the time, traffickers go for the most vulnerable individuals. People who are already on drugs are considered vulnerable because drugs can be used as bait in order to get access to them. For example, a trafficker may promise unlimited access to your drug of choice if you meet them at a specific private location.

Drugs are used to gain control

It’s common for traffickers to get their victims dependent on drugs in order to keep them from trying to escape. A lot of reports around human trafficking show that traffickers intimidate, drug, and abuse their victims into submission so that they can control and monitor them. While this is a very scary thing to think about, it’s important to be aware of it so that you don’t fall into any traps, like someone offering you drugs or any other items for free.

Staying safe

Human trafficking is a serious crime and if you suspect that someone is involved in it, make sure you report them immediately by calling 0800 222 777. It’s also important to prioritise your own safety by avoiding suspicious situations. For example, dodgy job ads that don’t provide a lot of information, or random people offering you things out of the blue.

Another way to stay safe is to make sure that you never leave your drink unattended in public situations and never accept drinks from strangers. If you are in a public gathering, drink responsibly and avoid getting too drunk or using any kind of drug.

If you or someone you know are dependent on drugs, remember help is available. You can contact Narcotics Anonymous or SANCA for assistance, and you can get in touch with me if you need advice or just an ear to listen.

Anyone can be a victim of human trafficking, especially now that tactics like false job adverts are used to lure people into being trafficked. If you are applying for jobs, do some research on the company and share the location of the interview with a friend or family member that you trust.

Human trafficking is a very scary reality that we need to be aware of and take the necessary precautions to make sure we stay safe and help our loved ones to do the same. While experimenting with drugs can feel like harmless fun, it can have some really serious consequences and put you at risk of being trafficked. Put your health and safety first, Choma. Don’t allow yourself to be pressured or convinced into trying drugs and seek help if you are struggling with a drug abuse problem.

If you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Message, a Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).

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