Police Commissioner, Fuiavailili Egon Keil speaking at the closing today of a two week Drug Demand Reduction Training in Apia
By Lagi Keresoma
APIA, SAMOA – TUESDAY 27 MARCH 2018: Police is worried that a new drug known as Fentynol, considered worse than cocaine, heroine and methamphetamine, could make its way into Samoa, unless the whole country works together to stop this.
This was according to the Police Commissioner, Fuiavailili Egon Keil speaking to Talamua after the closing today of a two week Drug Demand Reduction Training funded by the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, in collaboration with the Government of Samoa.
“Fentynol drug is in the same line of drug as heroine, opium, cocaine and methamphetamine, but much stronger, deadlier, highly effective and can be very damaging to our community,” Fuiavailili told Talamua.
He said the drug is already affecting the United States, Australia and New Zealand and he suspects that it has found its way into neighbouring American Samoa.
Fuiavailili said the US Federal Government was in American Samoa recently in response to a request for assistance from the American Samoa Government regarding their drug problem.
“American Samoa is just down the road from us and with the issues they have, these (drugs) will find their way in our home, and I cannot allow that to happen,” said Fuiavailili.
As part of the law enforcement awareness program, Fuiavailili said people need to be aware of this new drug and work together to tackle it.
“We are going to use every resource legally to combat that kind of problem. I don’t want drugs coming into my home and we will do everything possible, and even ask for assistance from American Samoa, the US, New Zealand and Australian Government.”
The closeness of American Samoa and Samoa geographically is the major concern, and Fuiavailili said the police will work closely with the Pacific Transnational Crime Centre to reduce the chances of this new drug coming into Samoa.
Samoa and the United States Partner on Drug Demand Reduction
Government of Samoa in partnership with the United States Government today completed two additional Universal Treatment Curricula (UTC) courses of the Drug Demand Reduction Training. More than 20 participants from last November’s Drug Demand Reduction training have increased their capacity to treat substance abuse by completing these two additional UTC courses over the past week and a half.
Participants are from a range of Government Agencies and Civil Society Organizations that deal directly with substance abuse, criminal rehabilitation, and mental illness.
Funded by the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, and in collaboration with the Government of Samoa through the Ministry of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and Ministry of Health, this training enables its graduates to better address substance use disorders in their professions and communities.
There are 8 courses, in total, for the Colombo Plan Drug Advisory Program Universal Treatment Curricula. The participants completed courses 1 and 2 in November 2017, while this training focused on courses 3 and 5.
Course 3: Common Co-Occurring Mental and Medical Disorders- An Overview for Addiction Professionals
This foundational course provides an overview of the relationship of co-occurring mental and medical disorders and SUD related treatment issues.
Course 5: Screening, Intake, Assessment, Treatment Planning and Documentation for Addiction Professionals
This course is a skills-based course that teaches effective and integrated Intake, Screening, Assessment, Treatment Planning and Documentation procedures to Addiction Professionals.