Vila Times

Drug rehab center planned for American Samoa

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Authorities in American Samoa plan to establish a drug rehabilitation center on the island to tackle the territory’s drug crisis.

Government officials were called late last week to testify for a Senate bill that would require all government employees, including contractors and elected officials to be tested for drugs and alcohol, reports RNZ.

The bill offers offenders the opportunity for rehabilitation. Muavaefa’atasi John Suisala of the Department of Human and Social Services told senators the government was working to set up a rehabilitation service and detox center.

He said his department provided two counselling programmes that deal mostly with court referrals.

Senator Fai’ivae Iuli Galeai said at the moment the only option for rehab is jail.

Our correspondent in Pago Pago reported some families in the territory have had to pay to send their family members with drug problems off island, usually to Hawai’i, but this requires court endorsement, and monitoring.