The number of cases handled by the Alcohol and Drugs Court has increased to 400.
And about 100 drug addict cases that have been dealt with in Court have been transferred to rehabilitation programmes.
“They have all gone through various programmes within eight to 12 weeks so that they can understand what drugs can do to their health,” Alcohol and Drug Clinician, Moana Solomona said.
Mrs. Solomona was part of the Drug Counselling programme held at the Ministry of Health conference room at Moto’otua.
The training focused on upgrading the knowledge of participants from various government ministries to better understand the side effects of drugs and the behavioural signs associated with drug addicts.
Assistant Chief Executive Officer of Corrections, Enforcement and Maintenance Division of the Ministry of Courts, Administration and Justice, Leuluaialiiotumua Faagutu Vaalotu said: “The training on drug counselling was a great opportunity because all government ministries who are dealing with such issues got to sit down and talk on the same level.
“I believe working together will enable us to deal with the rising number of people offending because of drug possession and also the influence of alcohol that has led to the many problems in the country.”
Mrs Solomona said: “What we have found is that most people who have been referred to the Alcohol and Drugs Court are addicted to drugs because of family break downs and others say it is easy for them to earn money if they sell it.
“To us we tried to get them through rehabilitation programs in order for them to change their lives. There was a particular person who is back in prison because he has reoffended several times.”
Leuluaiali’iotumua added: “For us, it reminds us of our key principals and that is to communicate with the parents of the defendant and also to build up a rapport with village mayors and church leaders so that they can lend a helping hand.”