Editorial comment – Frightening prospect

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama .Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU/FILE

IT’S good to hear that the Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has issued a stern warning that hardcore synthetic drugs have no place in Fiji.

It’s a tough stand.

In fact it is expected of the PM.

Mr Bainimarama has no qualms about what he thinks of people pushing hard drugs.

Hard drugs damaged communities, he said.

They ruined lives and could result in devastating spillover effects of violence.

He has pleaded with Fijians to encourage more young people to make a pledge and say no to drugs, and build a healthier and safer Fiji.

Curbing the abuse of hard drugs in Fiji, he said, started with personal responsibility. Students of Marist Brothers High School in Suva were the first to make the pledge of saying no to drugs.

Commending the students, Mr Bainimarama said by saying no to drugs such as methamphetamine and ecstasy, the students were setting a positive example for young people everywhere.

Government allocated $800,000 in the 2019/2020 National Budget to the Fiji Police Force to fund a strong effort to combat drug trafficking. His comments come in the wake of revelations of the horrors of drug addiction by a former drug rehabilitation clinic executive director.

Kalesi Volatabu, who used to work for Narconon — a drug rehabilitation clinic in Melbourne, Australia — said drug addicts, when on their mental drug psychosis, became volatile. Ms Volatabu, who is now a counsellor, believes there is great need to set up a rehabilitation centre for drug addicts.

She said the St Giles Psychiatric Hospital was like the melting pot of any issue regarding mental health.

Drug addicts, she said, needed a separate centre to handle them.

“You have to understand that when someone is coming off their drugs, when they are on their mental drug psychosis, the trips they are on is quite different. They become volatile because their emotion is multiplied 20 times,” she said.

“When they hear noises, they become paranoid.” Drug addicts were dangerous to stay around, she warned.

“Imagine someone like that being put at the St Giles. He literally is dangerous not only to himself, but to everyone who is there.”

She said a centre set up for these drug addicts should be a healing centre for drug addicts.

“We need to look at it as a healing centre.”

That’s the harsh reality of a life many of us do not know or understand.

It’s the way of life some Fijians have chosen though, it seems.

The reality is shocking.

It’s frightening!

We can either sit back and allow this to envelope our way of life, or actively participate in fighting it.

The end result is sad, breeding a way of life that is far removed from everything we hold dear and close to our hearts.

It’s like a ticking time bomb in our midst.

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