Critical need for rehab center escalates

February 24, 2024 12:15 pm

[File Photo]

Growing concerns about substance abuse in the country coupled with the overburdened Saint Giles Hospital, have ignited discussions on establishing a dedicated rehabilitation centre.

This comes amidst alarming statistics of seizures and the potential involvement of children in the drug trade.

Currently, the Saint Giles Hospital, intended for psychiatric care, is also seeing a surge in drug addiction cases, highlighting the critical need for specialized support.

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Drug-Free World Fiji Founder Kalesi Volatabu says the recent increase in drug-related matters is raising significant concerns about the future.

“It cannot just be the government that has to do it. It has to be a collaborative and holistic approach from government, corporate, businesses, NGOs whatever it may be and grassroots. Everybody has to work together to actually do this.

Ministry of Home Affairs Permanent Secretary Mason Smith acknowledges the vulnerability of children.

“They are selling drugs, they are taking drugs and very shortly if you see statistics from St Giles, it is overflowing so it’s not only the government’s effort, it’s the whole nation.”

Smith emphasizes the need for a collaborative approach.

“Currently there are discussions with some of our partners and our donors. We would like to let on do their expertise in setting up rehabilitation centre”.

Smith says substance abuse is a complex issue with far-reaching consequences. He adds that addressing it effectively requires a multifaceted approach.