17 people rehabilitated by drug treatment court – Guyana newsroom

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Since the establishment of the drug treatment court in 2019, a total of 17 drug addicts have benefited from it so far.

That’s according to Magistrate Rhondel Weever, who spoke at a ceremony on Friday to mark the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

The magistrate said that the justice system has observed that many people brought before the courts are drug addicts and that the drug treatment program offers an alternative to offenders of this nature.

A person charged with an offense who either pleads guilty or is found guilty may accept a custodial sentence or enroll in the program as an alternative to incarceration. She explained that offenses involving the use of violence or a weapon, in general, will not qualify.

Even though these people have received treatment for drug addiction, drug trafficking in Guyana is still relatively large.

“Since the launch of the Adult Drug Treatment Court, we have received 17 applications, all applicants were male between the ages of 18 and 60.

Their illicit substances of choice were marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy and prescription drugs,” Magistrate Weever said.

She added that three people are still on treatment.

The magistrate said drug addiction is a serious problem and often results in people in conflict with the law.

“The Guyana Drug Treatment Court provides an opportunity for the justice system to step in and provide valuable treatment options to adults, minors or youth with substance abuse disorders and their families,” noted Magistrate Weever.

Meanwhile, Deputy Chief of the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU), Rayon Samuels, said the flow of narcotics is difficult to stem as the country has become a transshipment point for drugs.

He added that due to the geographical location of the country, CANU has observed that many hidden smuggling ports have been created.

He said “CANU faces many challenges that impede the fulfillment of its mandate with respect to reduction and supply”.

Samuels listed the challenges. “This includes clandestine airstrips in forest areas of the country, few seizures for a year, we have had plane crashes, discoveries of illegal airstrips.

“Other challenges are hidden waterways and trails that elude law enforcement.”

He said that even though drug trafficking seizures have decreased due to the aforementioned challenges, CANU will continue to perform its duties.

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