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Guyana government recommits support to rehab program

Army lauded for work in drug trafficking hotspot.

The Government of Guyana presented $5 million to The Salvation Army to support its Drug Rehabilitation Program, according to Guyana’s Government Information Agency (GINA).

Guyana is a sovereign state on the Caribbean coast of South America and the only South American country where English is the national official language.

According to the U.S. State Department, drug laws in Guyana are “strict,” pre-trial detention can last several years, and final sentences are typically “lengthy.”

The 2010 U.S. State Department International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR) stated that Guyana continues to be a “major transshipment point for cocaine destined for North America, Europe and West Africa and the [Government of Guyana] has neither identified nor confronted major drug traffickers and their organizations.”

The Salvation Army’s Drug Rehabilitation Program won Guyana’s Medal of Service National Award in 2011.

“As long as The Salvation Army’s Drug Rehabilitation Program continues to produce success stories, this government will be proud to partner with the program,” Guyana Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh said in a statement. “You take up the mantle and occupy your rightful place as a productive citizen of the country, take up your rightful place and become a gainfully employed member of our society.”

Singh also presented $5 million from the government at the rededication of The Salvation Army’s newly rebuilt Men’s Social Centre to support the program earlier in 2014, according to GINA.

He encouraged the Army not to be satisfied with the status quo. “We live in a society which is quick to eschew success, but when you are down and out there are few friends,” he said. “We will not give up…but we will work with partners who can, and The Salvation Army has proven that it can.”

He implored organizers to replicate the program’s success with female clients and extend its reach to all Guyanese citizens struggling with drug abuse.

“The same will you can use in your battle for all demons…if you are willing to muster the power from within, there is no limit to what you can achieve,” he said.

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