Papua New Guinea
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Drugs rehabilitation important inreformation

BY TONY PALME

A residential drug rehabilitation centre will be built in Jiwaka to run a one-year rehabilitation programs for victims of substance abuse, especially marijuana addicts.

The groundbreaking for a two storey multi-purpose drug rehabilitation centre was done at Nol in Kugark, South Waghi district on August 3, 2023.

Bridging Gap Drug Rehabilitation Centre director Peter Kaman said Global Teen Challenge, a non-profit organization will fund the project.

Global Teen Challenge has been helping people in every nation find freedom from life-controlling addictions since 1958.

“Global Teen Challenge is our partner which has been helping us since we started as a day care centre. It is now coming in a big way to help fulfil our dream to run a residential rehab centre.

“We want to take back all our people trapped in the addictions of marijuana. To take back PNG, we have to take back our people from marijuana.

“I believe this will be one of the few, if not the only drug rehab centre in the Highlands and country.

“We want to provide rehab for all victims of substance abuse where all users of marijuana in the Highlands come here. Marijuana addiction among the youth population is destroying the country.

“We have to help these people because they are our country’s future,” Mr. Kaman said.

Senior provincial magistrate for Jiwaka, Douglas Siminji unveiled the multi-purpose complex design and dug up the earth at the site where construction will take place.

He said based on statistics they have gathered during prosecution of drug offenders; a basic principle of prosecution is for offenders to go through rehabilitation and reformation process.

“It is quite surprising to note that prisons in the country do not hold rehab facilities for drug addicts.

“After serving time, offenders go back and take up drugs again because the addiction is still there.

“Prisons are not doing anything to erase the addictions.


“I believe that the drug rehab project that Peter Kaman and Global Teen Challenge are trying to do here will be the real solution to break these addictions once and for all,”Siminji said.

He added that the new drug rehab centre will provide a pathway for victims of substance abuse and drug offenders to reach full recovery stages.

“After serving time in prisons, they can be recommended for transfer to Bridging Gap Drug Rehabilitation Centre to receive full rehabilitation and return to normal life,” Siminji stated.

Kaman highlighted that based on a survey they conducted on around 2,000 people in the Kugark community, they found out that 62 per cent of these people were in one way the other connected to marijuana.

“People were involved as marijuana cultivators, handlers or packers, distributors, sales persons and smokers.

“This sample of our survey gives us a clear indication that other communities in Jiwaka and the country are in similar situation.

“Fighting marijuana addiction is a threat to our country. Therefore, I request the government to commit the same level of support it does with other issues like HIV Aids or gender based violence for rehabilitation purpose,” Kaman stressed.

He further stated that efforts to combat marijuana like surrender programs have proven to be of little or no impact as they do not deal with addictions.