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Crime

Presence of hard drugs in rural villages a concern

October 20, 2020 6:02 am

The presence of hard drugs such as methamphetamine in rural villages and maritime communities has come as a shock for the Volatabu Group.

The group that advocates on the social and economic impacts of drugs say the mindset has always been that these drugs are only found in urban centres, however, these are now infiltrating remote areas.

Volatabu Group Founder, Kalesi Volatabu says they have been inundated with requests from Fijians in Maritime Islands and rural areas to conduct Drug Awareness campaigns.

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The problem is everywhere. It’s in villages where we thought it won’t be in. It’s not just the green that we’re talking about. It’s the ice, the meth – they’re in our villages now and in rural areas. They have seen it and they just don’t know who they can call.

Police Chief of Operation Abdul Khan says they’ve expanded their rural surveillance to include hard drugs as well.

“We’re not only looking at marijuana but we’re also looking at hard drugs in terms of meth and other drugs that are being circulated so we are looking at that as well”.

Drug-Free World Fiji in collaboration with Volatabu Group is in the second phase of addressing substance abuse by setting up a rehabilitation center.

Fiji currently does not have a proper system, treatment plans or facilities to address drugs and substance abuse disorders and the Fiji Police Force with the Fiji Corrections Service and other stakeholders have supported the idea of a proper rehabilitation centre.

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