The Consolidated Youth for Peace & Development (COYPED) and the Association of Progressive Youth of Liberia (APYL) registered non-for-profit youth-focused organizations has made the latest call for a sustainable rehabilitation program for war-affected and disadvantaged youth who are substance users in Liberia.
According to the Executive Director of the Consolidated Youth for Peace & Development, James Koryor the current initiative by the Liberian Government through the Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency and Montserrado County District # 10 Representative, Hon. Yekeh Kolubah to raid ghettos is in the wrong direction in addressing the current drug situation in the country.
The human rights and drug policy advocate furthered call on relevant institutions of government to institute a sustainable program that would focus firstly on rehabilitation as a means of providing other services like treatment, care, and technical skills to enable those substance users to become useful citizens.
Mr. Koryor stated that all around the world governments and policymakers have realized that the war on drug has failed and arresting and the imprisonment of drug user has not solved the problem stressing that drug use disorder or addiction is a disease and should be considered a public health issue.
For his part the APYL Boss, Rueben Bobby Logan stated that the current alcohol and drug addiction situation in the country is alarming and needs attention by all stakeholders including civil society organizations stressing that over 75% of substance users in Liberia are young people who if much attention is not given to could be a serious problem in the future.
Mr. Logan stressed that there is an urgent need to address the current drug abuse crisis in Liberia ranging from enforcement of strong laws for drug traffickers and smugglers, providing rehabilitation opportunities, care, and support for substance users who are victims of the situation. The lack or limited rehabilitation facilities in the country is considered as a real obstacle to achieving a sustainable rehabilitation program for substance users in Liberia he asserted.
We are calling on the Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency and all those involve with the raiding of ghettos to immediately disengage and refocus their attention on drug traffickers who are the real problem to drug abuse in the country. We cannot continue to do the same thing over and over and expect a different result. Ghettos raiding has not in any way mitigate or address the drug abuse problems in Liberia from 1847 to present Koryor asserted.
The APYL Executive Director is also calling on the government and relevant stakeholders to see the current drug situation in Liberia as a national emergency and must be handled with caution and address it as a public health issue considering a human rights-based approach.