Pubdate: Thu, 04 Sep 2003
Source: Times Of Malta (Malta)
Copyright: 2003 Allied Newspapers Limited
Author: Moses Camilleri


Richard Stagno Navarra's reminder that 10 years have passed since the 
presentation of the Meli report is appreciated. Though Mr Stagno Navarra 
may feel that the contribution of the committee that worked hard to come up 
with the Meli report has been forgotten, I can assure him that in the past 
10 years many young people and their families have silently appreciated the 
service they received and the chance they were given to renew their life.

I have been working in the field of substance misuse for the past 10 years 
and have witnessed the change for the better that the service has 
undergone. I appreciate and fully agree with Mr Stagno Navarra's suggestion 
that 10 years since the presentation of the Meli report should instigate a 
review of the suggestions that remain valid today.

Ten years are quite a long time and the needs of young people having a drug 
problem then may differ to a greater or lesser extent from the needs of the 
young people misusing drugs today. May I suggest that rather than embarking 
on a review that is limited just to the suggestions in the Meli report, we 
look forward and work as hard as the Meli committee in formulating 
suggestions that will be valid for the years to come.

It is becoming urgent that work done in the past 10 years is analysed and 
its outcome measured. People with the same stamina as those who worked on 
the Meli committee must ensure that mistakes done in the past 10 years are 
not repeated. They must ensure that the services available are updated so 
as to better address the needs of today's drug misusers. They must come up 
with suggestions that ensure that services available today incorporate 
recent developments both in the prevention and the treatment fields. Most 
of all they must ensure that human resources are available to bring about 
these changes.

Moses Camilleri,

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