Drug abuse not just a social, health issue – Minister Meriton


The Minister for Social Affairs and Employment, Vincent Meriton, urged them to do so Tuesday July 6, saying that the problem of illicit substances is not just a social or health issue and it is also a national development issue.

Minister Meriton, who is also the chairman of the Drug and Alcohol Council (Dac) which was established in 1997, was speaking at the official launching of a one-day workshop to sensitise MNAs about drug abuse and illicit trafficking.

Sketch of the Seychelles Progress now under construction in Germany

Organised by Dac in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, Centre Mont Royal and the Campaign for Awareness, Resilience and Education against drug abuse and alcohol (Care), the workshop took place at the International Conference Centre.

National Assembly Speaker Francis MacGregor, Care patron Mrs Sarah Rene, and officials from Centre Mont Royal and probation services also attended the workshop.

Minister Meriton noted that there is a need to strengthen the mechanism in place to apprehend and take appropriate actions against perpetrators.

"We should continue to pursue the curative path for addicts while we must not forget to strengthen the preventive mechanism for non-starters, by involving all stakeholders and the community at large," said Minister Meriton.

He added that the National Assembly's duty is more than just approving drug control legislation, but also playing a crucial role in supporting drug control initiatives.
Minister Meriton said that it is time that we all recognise the complexity of the drug issue in Seychelles and its impact on the society.

The Minister Meriton said that there was the need to "network better, share more information, work together on all fronts."
These goals, Minister Meriton noted, can be achieved only through determination and commitment of all.

He also informed those present that soon Dac's Supply Reduction Technical Committee will be launched and will aim at ensuring that activities are undertaken to address the drug issue.

This means that necessary equipment and resources, such as fast boats, sniffer dogs, scanners, breathalysers and drug testing kits are made available to officers on the front line.

During the workshop, Dac experts presented papers on the national drug control programme and informed the participants about the legislation, regulations, projects, and programmes being implemented on the battlefront in the fight against drug abuse and trafficking.

The MNAs were also briefed about the solutions, positive preventive actions, consultations and courageous work being undertaken to eventually eradicate the problem. The participants did not hesitate to question about statistics of drug abusers and the different kinds of drugs in circulation.

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