Liberia: Rehabilitation Center Key to Transforming Drug Users

Executive Director of Liberia Initiative for Empowerment, Jodie Ried Seton

Monrovia – The Executive Director of Liberia Initiative for Empowerment, Jodie Ried Seton, wants the Liberian Government to build a rehabilitation center for illegal drug users in the country.

Madam Seton says proper rehabilitation of those young Liberians that are addicted to harmful substances must stop drug use while frowning on the arbitrary arrest of users.

Speaking at a program organized by LIEF to celebrate International Human Rights Day celebrated on December 10 every year, Seton called for the stop drugs abuse in the various community. This year’s anniversary is celebrated under the global theme “Generation Equality Stands Against Rape” while the LIEF theme is “Harm Reduction, Support to Rehabilitation and Not Stigmatization”.

The program, held in Brewerville, kicked-off with a parade involving students, women groups, religious groups – Christian and Islamic – to create awareness against stigmatization and discrimination of substance users.

Since the Liberian civil war, there has been an increase in the consumption of illegal drugs in Liberia with users neglected by their family and friends.

According to Ms. Seton, drug addiction has overtaken Liberia and if the government and citizens do not attach importance to reducing it the future generation will damage.

“In this time of 16 days of activism, we must hold our government accountable for the rights of all citizens especially those that we called Zogos, they have rights and need to be respected,” she said.

“Creating awareness on drugs harmfulness is important because it has an effect on the next generation of young Liberians.

“We live in a society where we see the importation of drugs go free and those who are taking it are penalized. We see people who are abuse to substance as criminals. No, let’s get that right today they are not just because the circumstances they find themselves.”

According to her, drugs addiction needs to be link to rape because the users end-up committing crimes after taking in substance.

Jodie wants communities to now “stand up and speak out loud on drugs addiction because it starts from the community”.

She explained: “To the Police and the Drug Enforcement agency, we just don’t jump in the ghetto and raid them and take them places, we don’t have a place to rehabilitate them, we need  a state of the art rehabilitation center where when you flush it from in their system than you find something for them to do and they go through the probationary period than you see if they fit to go back to the society but nothing of such is in our country we just arrest them and take them to jail when they start misbehaving we put them out to the society, have we ever thought about their human rights

“We need to rise up and speak out against all forms of violence against women, against children and even boys. The importers need to be punished   as well they are destroying our brothers and sisters.”

For his part, S. Bedell Fahn, Brewerville’s City Mayor, said the youthful generation of Liberia is destroying because of drugs. He considers drug addiction as a “demonic spirit” and called on the government to build a rehabilitation center for the youth.

He cautioned students, who are in the habit of using Friday to taken in harmful substances, to desist because the future of Liberia depends on them.

He said if the government and parents “don’t stand strong against drugs the future will not be good” and warns Liberians against neglecting “Zogoes”.