For his homily in the Mauritian capital, Port Louis, Monday, September 9, Pope Francis wanted to address the youth of the island, sacrificed in his eyes on the altar " of an idolatrous economic model »« « Despite the economic growth that your country has experienced in recent decades, it is the young people who suffer the most, they are the ones who feel the most unemployment ", Noted the sovereign pontiff, calling not to leave" to steal the young face of the Church and society; do not let the merchants of death steal the first fruits of this earth! Discrete allusion to the scourge of drugs that affects the youth of the island.

First catch at 13 years old

In 2018, the Mauritius Drug Observatory reported an increase in trafficking and use of drugs such as heroin, cocaine, synthetic drugs or cannabis. Social workers on the island are sounding the alarm about the use of hard drugs in particular (opium, heroin, codeine), with catches at increasingly early ages. In an interview withIndian Ocean TimesImran Dhanoo, head of a rehab center in Port Louis, explained that " before we had 25 year old adults who came to see us. They said they tried their first experience at 18 or 19 years. Today, the first drug intake would be 13 for a boy and 16 for a girl. The Imran Dhanoo center is more frequented by 18-year-olds « already in an advanced stage of great distress. "

Mauritius: "Our young people are our first mission", recalls the Pope

10-year-old children ended up in the ER after using drugs. Traffickers target colleges and high schools to sell their merchandise. In September 2018, the college of the Holy Spirit called for help in the face of the increase in cases. Several young people were found drugged in the facility, when some admitted to sell these illicit products to their classmates.

And consumption does not seem to depend on the social or financial background of the students. " Curiosity, the availability of the product, the encounter with the product, depression, the search for euphoria encourage young people to take cannabis, adulterated heroin, a new synthetic drug, a psychotropic product that causes a lot of damage namely hepatitis B and C, pulmonary edema, death among others ", says Imran Dhanoo.

Synthetic drugs

In recent years, synthetic drugs pose a particular problem. These new drugs are created from chemicals and can be mixed with regular consumer products such as Spice, a blend of tea herbs soaked in synthetic cannabinoids. In July 2018, sales of Spice accounted for 95% of the drugs sold on the island. At a dollar (0.95 €) the individual dose, this drug is very easily accessible while containing a large number of harmful chemicals, it can be fatal at first use.

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A national plan to combat the trafficking and consumption of these drugs has been put in place, but the results are slow in coming as the products continue to arrive on the island. The authorities regularly seize large quantities of drugs from Madagascar, as last April when 46 kg of heroin were confiscated in Toamasina, only part of a cargo of 220 kg that was to arrive in Mauritius by sea.

Madagascar is a real hub of drug trafficking in the Indian Ocean. The products transit by plane or by sea, with the assistance of Mauritian fishermen. If the Mauritian authorities have the technical means to fight against the sale and consumption of drugs on the island, it is more difficult to act on the big island of Madagascar and dismantle strong international networks.

(tagsToTranslate) Religious Facts (t) addictions (t) drug (t) Africa (t) Mauritius (t) alert (t) scourge


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