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The LDS-led Opposition has made it clear that it is against government treating drugs addicts with Methadone, although they know that many young men and women have been able to go back to employment due to positive results of the programme.

This is part of the success story in low unemployment rate that Seychelles has- 2.1%. This must be among the world’s lowest unemployment.
Some of these former addicts are mothers and fathers and they’ve been able to take their roles as parents which previously they couldn’t as some of them were living in the streets or in impoverished areas known as ghettos that drug dealers use as hideouts and where they usually sell their drugs.
These young men and women have gone back to their family and living a decent life. For all the good reasons, APDAR headed by Dr. Patrick Herminie should be encouraged to continue the work.
Last Saturday, our newspaper met two young men who agreed to speak to us to give their honest opinions on the ongoing Methadone programme being undertaken by the Agency for Prevention of Drugs and Rehabilitation (APDAR). We met them at the Plaisance District Office.

Jude Toussaint

Jude Toussaint is a resident of Belvedere in the district of Plaisance.
He works on tuna fishing vessels as a casual labour. He has described Heroin as a disease.
“The methadone programme is a very good initiative. When addicts have no money, they do all sorts of bad things just to get the substance to satisfy their cravings. Nowadays the daily dose of methadone keeps them calm. They are able to do a good day’s work. It brings them stability so that they can also contribute in society,” he stated.
“Methadone enables a drug addict to move around as any normal person. But without it they spend a whole day in ghettos. Life for an addict is a routine- he gets some money and returns back to the ghetto. With the methadone programme, your money stays with you and you are able to buy food and other provisions for the family. You wear clean clothes like any normal person,” he added.
“Some people are advocating “cold turkey” as the best way to deal with heroin addiction. They do not know what they are talking about. Such a method will ensure that the majority of addicts will never come out clean.
If the methadone programme did not exist, my problems would have been worse today. Most likely I would be in prison. I once tried “cold turkey’, but was not able to control my craving for drugs.
Methadone is helping a lot of us young people. The atmosphere is different now in many areas such as Les Mamelles, Corgat Estate and others. There is no longer any commotion in those places. There is even a difference in the attitude of youth who used to be on heroin but are now on the methadone programme.
Now they wear clean clothes and are decent when in public. For an addict, heroin use is a priority. The person is ready to sell everything for it. Methadone has proven effective for me and many of my friends. It is a very good programme,” he said.

Alex Allisop

Alex Allisop is also resident of Belvedere and works as a fisherman. He is new in this job, but he goes out to work, it is for several days.
According to him the methadone programme is a good initiative to help addicts of drug abuse. He would like to see it continue because despite the fact that few of these addicts continue on drugs, most manage to come out clean and resume their normal lives.
There are success stories. Without the programme probably none of them would have been saved. He was not on heroin, but on marijuana which is considered a soft drug.
Such addicts go on the methadone programme for a very short period of time. Alex feels that it has helped him get rid of his addiction.
He believes that if one day such a programme is stopped, in view of our tiny population and little manpower, it will be a chaos.
The prison will be filled once again with only drug offenders. Hospitals will also be very busy with drug patients and there will be plenty of premature deaths too.
Again, according to Alex, heroin creates a society where people commit crimes, such as robberies. The government was a 100 % correct in introducing the methadone programme.
“I have heard that some people wanted to cancel the programme calling it a waste of tax-payers money. I congratulate the government for going along with the programme despite criticisms coming from the opposition.
The government has seen that the heroin addicts, especially those young people, need such a support,” he says.