Experts can help, but personal resolve needed

PHOTO: Experts can help, but personal resolve needed

SINGAPORE - Former drug abusers must have the resolve to turn over a new leaf before others can help them do so.

Otherwise, any well-meaning help would be useless, experts told The New Paper.

Madam Loh Kim Hwee, who manages Watchman's Home halfway house at Upper Changi Road North, said: "They can get all the external help they need, but these will be of no use if they don't want to change for the better. It's all up to the individual."

She said some drug offenders return to their old habit as they do not have goals in life.

"They don't think about the future and often end up being bored and jobless. They will then mix with their old friends and take drugs again."

Mr Freddy Wee, the deputy director of Breakthrough Missions, which also runs a halfway house, agreed.

"Former offenders need to be equipped with the proper skills on how to reject drugs and keep themselves occupied so that they don't return to their old habits," he said.

His halfway house, at Yew Siang Road in Pasir Panjang, can accommodate 70 men and is now about half full.

He said there is enough space at halfway houses island-wide that former offenders can go to for help.

Madam Loh, whose facility can accommodate 33 men and now has 25 residents, felt the same way.

"As a halfway house, we will definitely try our best to help those who come to us," she said.

This article was first published on July 17, 2014.
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