The Miritini Rehabilitation Centre in Mombasa will start offering in-patient services to drug addicts in February this year.

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The Centre which was formerly a National Youth Service (NYS) camp has been refurbished by the National Authority for the Campaign against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA) at a cost of Ksh 15 million and will start in-patient services from February 22 with a capacity of 250 patients.

This was announced on Thursday by the NACADA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Victor Okioma during a meeting with stakeholders at the centre.

Okioma who was accompanied by the Coast Regional Commissioner John Elungata said the centre is now operational and is offering out-patient services to about 150 drug addicts.

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“It offers a wide range of treatment including counselling and medically assisted therapy commonly known as methadone,” said NACADA boss.

Okioma said the centre was established following a Presidential directive in 2015 to transform the NYS camp into a drug rehabilitation centre to provide care and support to affected youth.

“Coast is one of the most affected regions in the country as evidenced by the many young people in dens and streets who need support to rehabilitate them into responsible citizens,’’ he added.

He also said the centre will offer various training to the rehabilitated youth that will help them secure employment and engage in meaningful activities.

Okioma called for concerted efforts to fight drug menace in the region and the country in general which he said has destroyed the lives of many young people.

He said unrest and destruction being witnessed in most secondary schools in the country is as a result of drug abuse by students.

“We conducted research in 2016 and 2019 which confirmed that majority of students engaging in violence or other unlawful activities are using hard drugs or other harmful substances,” he added.

Okioma called on the Board Management of Schools to put measures that will ensure learning institutions are drug-free zones.

Elungata said the multi-agency team in the region has managed to bring down drug abuse and trafficking and that a number of suspects have been arrested and taken to court.

He said among those arrested are pharmacists who sell stimulant or harmful drugs to members of the public without a prescription.

“We are not going to leave any stone unturned in our efforts to rid this region from the shackles of the drug trade and abuse,’’ added the Regional Commissioner.

NACADA also intends to construct Ksh1 billion model drug rehabilitation at the centre that will boast a modern hospital, a training wing and a multi-purpose hall to cater for the reformed drug addicts.

According to the Authority, this will be a model centre of excellence for the management of substance use disorders and the training of addiction prevention professionals.

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