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Looking for ways to increase therapeutic treatments: NDA

National Drug Agency (NDA) has revealed the Agency is working on increasing therapeutic treatments for drug rehabilitation.

Speaking at a press conference held on Monday, NDA's CEO Imad Solih stated that the Agency is in discussions with various institutions to increase the number of therapeutic treatments for drug rehabilitation.

Imad said that there are a number of new drugs surfacing within the community. He added that 5 different community-based rehabilitation centres will be inaugurated within the year. As such, he noted that the 'Vilunu' rehabilitation centre in Addu City has re-opened for rehabilitation services. Imad added that 'Vilunu' will now provide a Methadone Dispense Programme at the centre as well.

"I took this post about three months ago. In these three months, we have done a considerable amount of work. This is a whole new programme and everyone on the waitlist will be considered for the programme," Imad said.

He also added that the Hulhumale' Halfway House is operational and that people who were previously receiving rehabilitation in K. Himmafushi are now receiving rehabilitation there.

"Since last July, we have relocated the rehabilitation centre in Hithadhoo to the previous Hithadhoo Hospital building. We had to stop the detoxification programme for a while due to this. But starting next Thursday, we will restart the programme with a batch of 15 clients," Imad said.

He added that the Gulhifalhu and HDh. Kulhudhuffushi centre's will commence services soon as well.

Speaking at the press conference, NDA Board Chairman Shamau Shareef stated that despite extending their services, NDA continues to face many obstacles. As such, he noted that NDA only had one psychiatrist working for the Agency before. However, NDA currently has two psychiatrists, he noted.

"We are still using the same TC programme at DRTC as before. However, we are trying to reintegrate the programme to fit the current needs. We have all the resources required to conduct rehabilitation now," Shimau said.

NDA statistics shared at the press revealed that NDA assessed 727 people in 2022 - 619 assessments through Drug Court orders and 106 assessments on personal requests, one request from Police and a juvenile handed over by Juvenile Court.

NDA revealed that out of all the people assessed, 694 were men and 33 were women. NDA noted that in 2022, 257 people completed their treatments, of which 24 were women.