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Editorial: Drugs Are A Serious Problem We Need To Nip In The Bud

Drugs have fast become a problem in Fiji, which the security forces are taking very seriously. This was one of the issues the Australian Federal Police Commissioner Andrew Colvin discussed
24 Jan 2019 18:11
Editorial: Drugs Are A Serious Problem We Need To Nip In The Bud
Andrew Colvin Commissioner, Australian Federal Police

Drugs have fast become a problem in Fiji, which the security forces are taking very seriously.

This was one of the issues the Australian Federal Police Commissioner Andrew Colvin discussed with his Fijian counterpart Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho during their meeting yesterday.

Commissioner Colvin admitted that some of the methamphetamine found in Fiji originated from Australia. He has had similar conversations with police chiefs around the Pacific region.

This does not mean that locals are not producing it here. There are a number of locals who have been prosecuted for producing methamphetamine with ingredients they have been able to easily acquire over the counter.

It is no secret that drugs have become a big issue in Tonga, which is grappling with a methamphetamine epidemic ravaging the kingdom, and Fiji has to take action if we are to avoid the same problems Tonga faces in the long run.

The Fiji Police Force, for its part, has been conducting raids daily cracking down on marijuana, methamphetamine and other hard drugs.

The fact that this is being produced locally or being brought in from Australia is an indication that there is a market and demand for it.

We have already highlighted how a woman was caught on camera injecting young Fijians with drugs. Those youths then went onto assault some other Fijian youths under the effects of those drugs. This is a hard reality we are facing right now.

Some secondary school students were also caught with marijuana.

All these are serious issues that need to be tackled head on.

While the Fiji Police Force is doing its part, we need religious leaders and parents to start playing an active role in the lives of younger Fijians.

Methamphetamine or ice as it is commonly known as is sold for $50 a small sachet.

The fact that younger Fijians are spending that kind of money on drugs or have access to that kind of money to spend on drugs need to alarm parents.

This is not the Fiji of 20 years ago and we are not immune to the problems that all other countries face, but to our advantage we have close knit communities who have often rallied together to support each other. This community bond is needed right now.

We need to seriously consider setting up rehabilitation centres in Fiji that will help to reform those who are addicted to drugs.

Also, parents cannot leave their children to their whiles and cannot think that their responsibility has ended.

Religious leaders need to start talking about this rather than politics. This is the role they need to fulfil first.

Drugs is a real problem, but every problem has a solution.

Like many things, the solution to this problem also starts at home.

Feedback:  jyotip@fijisun.com.fj




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