NATION

Children Young As 14 Are Treated For Drug Addiction

The number of people involved with drugs is alarming. Children must know the dangers of drugs. Marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin are some of the drugs that are now being used in Fiji.
26 Oct 2019 15:57
Children Young As 14 Are Treated For Drug Addiction
Year Three Veiuto Primary School students during their performance on October 25, 2019. Photo: Kelera Sovasiga

Children as young as 14 years have been treated for drug addiction.

This is according to statistics from the Ministry of Health and the St Giles Hospital, which treats patients with mental illness.

The Permanent Secretary for Defence, Manasa Lesuma, enlightened this to Veiuto Primary School students during a fun day at the school yesterday.

“The number of people involved with drugs is alarming. Children must know the dangers of drugs. Marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin are some of the drugs that are now being used in Fiji,” Mr Lesuma said.

Permanent Secretary for Defence Manasa Lesuma. Photo: Kelera Sovasiga

Permanent Secretary for Defence Manasa Lesuma. Photo: Kelera Sovasiga

The school focused its fun day on the theme “Veiuto: Together Against Bullying and Drugs” to educate students about bullying and drugs.

Mr Lesuma said drug usage was a growing problem in Fiji and it would expound to be an issue of national security, if not addressed immediately in communities and schools.

“Hard drugs was not a serious issue in Fiji, 54 years ago when Veiuto was established. Today, we hear about illicit drugs in the news almost every day,” he said.

He said the effects of the drug trade were harrowing, but we must be vigilant. Mr Lesuma also said the Fiji Police Force took a lead role in the fight against drugs, but as parents and members of the community, we could also stand up and say no to drugs.

“There are new forms of drugs that are becoming more common apart from marijuana and these include methamphetamine,” he said.

“Most people are taking it without fully understanding the consequences.

“Children as young as 14 years are being treated for drug addiction, and it all started from experimenting the drug. When addicted it becomes harder to say no. Side effects include hallucinations, increased blood pressure and heart rate, violent behaviour, and in worst case scenario, death.

“Drugs are dangerous, there’s no good drug or bad drug. Drugs impact your life, it impacts your parents and guardians, it impacts the society you live in and it impacts your future,” Mr Lesuma said.

Edited by Percy Kean

Feedback: ashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj


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