By Yusufu S. Bangura
In order to tackle substance abuse in the country among youth, the Minister of Social Welfare, Melrose Karminty has launched the Inter-agency Government Quick Action on Substance Abuse at the ministry’s conference room.
Giving the purpose of the launching, chairperson at the event, Mariatu Bangura said the increase in drug and substance abuse is very clear in everyone’s eye as most of the youths are taking drugs.
“It is a high time as a responsible government to tackle this issue. Therefore, the president has setup an inter-agency taskforce to look into the messes of substance abuse which is a big problem for us because it is going to hunt us in future if we don’t address it now. We must ensure that we do not loss our next generation and we should put hands together to make sure that we address it at this time,” she said.
She said the inter-agency was setup to address the situation with a focus and to identify, rehabilitate and reintegrate the addicts so that youths can become very useful in society and save the next generation.
She added that effort will also be made to work with communities, assess areas and trained youths with skills and income generation activities because most of them are hooked on to drugs.
In her statement, Minister of Social Welfare, Merlrose Karminty stated that over the years, drug and substance abuse has been something that the country is battling with, saying that President Bio is not pleased with the current statues of the country, therefore he has shown a lot of concerns to address the issue.
She maintained that President Bio has directed them to bring everyone on board because everyone has a role to play in the fight against drug abuse, adding that if the issue of drug is not tackled it will affect the whole nation.
She further reiterated President Bio’s commitments to addressing the issue of substance abuse by asking ministries and agencies to take emergency action to amend the issues because they need to give meaningful life to victims after they have been treated.
Minister Karminty continued that she was currently working with the National Drug and Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to identify victims of substance abuse and institute remedies to rehabilitate and reintegrate them into their respective communities.
She stated that the ministry has 140 social workers across the county to provide psychosocial cancelling and they have trained 30 workers to do need assessment where the inmates are held in police custody and correctional centres because they should be released to the ministry for rehabilitation and social care.
“As a matter of extreme urgency the ministry will commence the provision of psychosocial first-aid to those who are in custody following this launch today so that they will start to know that substance abuse is not good for them. I want people to know that the government is taking action to tackle drug abuse in the country,” she said.