Liberia Initiative for Empowerment Wants Rehabilitation Centers for Drug Users

Monrovia — Liberia Initiative for Empowerment (LIFE) Founder and Executive Director Jodie R. Seton has frowned on the failure of the Government to provide rehabilitation center for substance users in the country.

Madam Seton whose organization is involved with the rehabilitation of drug addicts said if they substance abusers can be useful to society if transformed.

Speaking at program marking the official celebration of International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, LIEF founder said it's unfortunate that the young people were not rehabilitated after the 14 years of civil war for proper reintegration into society. She lamented that only a disarmament program was carried out.

"We experienced a civil war that ravaged our young people for 14 long years. The young people were exposed to hardcore illicit drugs and substances," she said.

According to Mrs. Seton, the youth depended on the substances for their ability to commit heinous war crimes and do unspeakable things but were never rehabilitated.

"Yet, we took two years of the transitional period to disarm and demobilize but we did not rehabilitate nor we reintegrated such a population of young people that are a congruent part of our society," she said.

She added: "Now the illicit traffickers and dealers have overtaken the situation of our neglect and exploiting the users into posing as dealers while increasing the alarming high consumption rate."

She said Liberia faces a challenge with the increase in the rate of drug trafficking and consumption.

"We must adopt an interim strategy of harm reduction as we strive to get the big facility and programs that foster rehabilitation and reintegration," Mrs. Seton told the gathering.

LIFE Miracle Sisters has been working with female drug users to reduce their consumption rate and also avoid child trafficking and also provide healthcare to both male and female users, she disclosed.

Madam Seton said there is a need to advocate for increased budget allocation for the Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency to help fight the scourge of illicit trafficking in a move to reduce harm in the interim and ensure holistic rehabilitation of users in the near future.

She further called on Liberians to you use June 26, 2019 the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking to increase awareness of the menace of drugs abuse and illicit trafficking in the country.

This year's celebration was under the theme "Health for Justice. Justice for health".

For his part former vice president of the press union of Liberia Jallah Garyfield stressed the need for a legislation that will adequately address the issue of drug imputation and abuse in the country.

Grayfield, delivering his keynote address said, he sees no progress in the fight against the usage of harmful substances in the absence of strong laws that will prohibit its importation, sale and intake mostly by young people.

"I recommend that a strong drug law is passed by the legislature to make drug trafficking and abuse non-bailable like the case of rape. Today, anyone who is accused of rape never sees daylight outside until such person is tried. Let us revisit the law that was passed by the 54th legislature and make an amendment, that law is weak and empty," the Liberian Journalist said.

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