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Growing concern in Seychelles over heroin abuse

Heroin abuse is causing widespread concern in Seychelles. Due to high unemployment and limited opportunities for young people, drug use is on the rise.

Seychelles is the least populated sovereign African country with only 99,000 citizens, half of which are below 25 years old.

Despite its low population, it has the highest per capita rate of heroin abuse in the world according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) report. Over the years, this worrying trend has become a major concern for the Seychellois community.

The drug abusers typically inject, snort, or smoke to relax.

Prolonged use of heroin has led to severe physical and mental health complications for thousands of young people, including overdosing and, in some cases, death.

Seychelles being situated on the well-known ‘heroin route’ between Afghanistan and Europe is a significant factor in its high heroin rates. The drug enters the country through various smuggling operations.

Gen Z are particularly vulnerable due to a lack of employment and quality education. Despite their qualifications and skills, many are unable to find suitable jobs that match their career aspirations.

The job market is highly competitive, and the limited number of available positions are often filled by older, more experienced workers.

Additionally, many businesses in Seychelles struggle to stay afloat due to its small economy and heavy reliance on tourism. This makes it difficult to expand and create new job openings.

The education system in Seychelles has been criticized for not adequately preparing students for the job market. Graduates often lack the practical skills that employers are looking for, which further contributes to the challenge of finding employment.

As a result of these factors, many young people are left with limited options for their future, leading to frustration, disillusionment, and occasionally drug abuse.

The Seychellois government and various organizations have implemented several initiatives to combat this growing problem.

One of the most notable is the National Drug Enforcement Agency (NDEA), which was established to combat drug trafficking and abuse. It works closely with law enforcement agencies in other countries to disrupt the supply of drugs into Seychelles.

The government has further launched several public awareness campaigns to educate its citizens, especially Gen Z, on the dangers of drug abuse. The campaign focuses on promoting healthy lifestyles and providing support to those struggling with addiction.

Similarly, the Narcotics Anonymous (NA) Seychelles, which is part of an international network of self-help groups for people recovering from addiction, has continued to rehabilitate young people through various programs.

The government has also rolled out the National Drug Control Master Plan, which outlines a comprehensive strategy for preventing and reducing drug abuse. The plan involves education campaigns, treatment, and rehabilitation programs.

Despite these efforts, more needs to be done to tackle drug abuse. It is crucial that the government invests in more education and employment opportunities for young people, as this can help to address the underlying causes of heroin abuse.


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