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Drug rehabilitation centre to open in Bazaleti

By Salome Modebadze
Friday, April 27
“We are moving to new civilized standards which are practically nowhere else in our region,” Mayor of Tbilisi Gigi Ugulava said, referring to the first rehabilitation centre for drug users to be built in Georgia. The 50-place alternative rehabilitation centre, which will replace detention facilities for drug users, is due to be built in Bazaleti.

Within the framework of the government's anti-drug policy, the centre will offer drug abusers long-term medical services and sport activities rather than sending them to detention facilities. Construction will be partly financed by the Mayor’s Office together with fines paid by drug users.

Speaking of drug addiction as one of the most harmful problems of multiple generations in Georgia, Mayor Ugulava said that the government hopes to fully eradicate the problem. Calling drug addiction “the most terrible disease,” he stressed that such people need a relevant environment for re-socializing.

Uniting various state bodies behind the same goal, the anti-drug campaign is oriented around legislative, educational, and rehabilitation components. As Ugulava explained, law enforcement bodies and the civil sector should encourage everyone to overcome their addiction and return to ordinary lifestyles and live as the equal members of society.

First Deputy Prosecutor Davit Sakvarelidze welcomed the dramatic decrease of drug usage in Georgia. Crediting the results of the “strict criminal policy” the state has carried out, Sakvarelidze said that illegal circulation of drugs has is five times lower now than in the past. According to the recent report from the Prosecutor’s Office about drug addiction and drug distribution in Georgia, drug crime has decreased 53% from 2007 to 2011.

According to Sakvarelidze, the government wants to prevent people from committing worst crimes thanks to drug use. Calling it “a revolutionary step”, he explained that the anti-drug campaign would prevent individuals from using drugs – which may lead to further criminal activity and harm. For this reason, a variety of sports events will be scheduled this year to promote a healthy lifestyle among young people.