Last year, 694 people sought help from Caritas to combat drug addiction problems, a seven per cent increase over 2011 and a 34% rise over 2004, Caritas director Mgr Victor Grech said.
Speaking at an event at the Caritas drug rehabilitation centre at San Blas, to launch a week of activities to raise funds, Mgr Grech said it is clear that the drug problem in Malta is on the rise.
Caritas is doing its best to give help to all those who request its assistance, but costs are on the rise. Every year, Caritas needs €1.35 million to carry out its drug rehabilitation work, but in the last four years this amount was not collected and bank loans were required.
Mgr Grech explained all NGOs must raise funds because government assistance is not enough, and often they are in competition with themselves. All Caritas services are given for free and it is a must for this to continue, he believes.
The idea behind the week of activities is to get people to participate in the services given and while not everyone can serve as a volunteer, he stressed that every drop counts.
The week of events will be held next month and will culminate in what will be known as the Caritas trail, an activity involving walking, jogging or cycling in the Żebbuġ, Dingli and Rabat area. The event is supported by BOV and Maltapost.
Participants can apply against a €10 donation in aid of Caritas, at BOV or Maltapost branches, using the BOV internet banking payment system or on the website caritasmalta.org.
Mr Scerri highlighted there are 20 residents at the moment and the centre can take up to 24 men. Community work is emphasized a lot throughout the programme and the residents must distance themselves from the individualism of society and focus on inclusion.
The residents’ ages vary between 19 and 53 years.