National Drug Agency (NDA) on Wednesday established a drug rehabilitation program for minors, in joint efforts with the Juvenile Justice Unit (JJU).
The program was launched by Minister of Home Affairs Azleen Ahmed. NDA CEO Hassan Shaheel said that the agency has been working with JJU to establish the program, and acknowledged the assistance provided by UNICEF as well.
Shaheel revealed that the rehabilitation program includes guidance counselling on religion and prosperity in life, as well as routine drug tests and behavior monitoring.
Whilst the program was established to rehabilitate minors, the agency resolved to focus only on children between the ages 15-17.
NDA aims to rehabilitate minors from drugs in a period of three months, although the period may extend based on progress.
The agency recommends minors to take on the program as a self-healing journey. However, the Drug Court can also impose minors to complete the program.
NDA is additionally working with Ministry of Home Affairs to establish a drug rehabilitation centre for minors.
Although the Drugs Act orders the establishment of a rehabilitation centre specialized for minors, none has been established to date. However, drug rehabilitation centres for adults are in operation across the archipelago.