The National Drug Agency (NDA) of Maldives has made changes to its operations, initiating rehabilitation for many seeking treatment.
According to the agency, a total of 433 people have sought detoxification treatment so far this year. Of these, 371 have started treatment.
Voluntary applications for rehabilitation and community treatment stood at 126, from which 108 people have begun treatment.
NDA said 458 people were sentenced under court rulings to seek treatment for substance abuse this year so far. Of these, 160 people were sentenced to residential treatment and 298 people were charged to seek community treatment. A total of 69 people have begun residential treatment, while 30 individuals have initiated community treatment.
According to NDA, 262 people are receiving treatment at community service centers in Male' City, while 100 people are receiving treatment at Himmafushi Rehabilitation Centre.
The Drug Treatment and Detoxification Centre in Addu Atoll Hithadoo has the highest number of people receiving treatment, excluding the capital city.
Regarding the NDA, the agency's CEO Imad Solih told Mihaaru last week that treatment could start within one and a half months at the latest if those who need treatment cooperate properly. The priority now is to use the centers at their full capacity, he said.
Imad hopes to accelerate this process and integrate clients into the treatment system as soon as possible.
"Very few people come to the treatment system voluntarily and most of them are sentenced to treatment under court orders", he said.