American Samoa continue efforts to fight drugs in the territory

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The American Samoa Government has taken another step in efforts to fight drugs in the territory.

In doing so, they have appointed a 20-member council to coordinate efforts to fight drug use through education, enforcement, and treatment.

The Comprehensive Substance Abuse Council is established via executive order which the Governor signed on May 12.

A press release from the Governor’s Office quotes the Governor saying, “Our battle against drugs threatens our culture, island, and children.

Lieutenant Governor Talauega and I stand firm and call upon this council to do the good work needed to save lives and reduce the terrible effects of illegal drugs on families and villages.

For decades the disease of substance abuse, specifically methamphetamines, has impacted our territory; however, we must remain vigilant and tactful in our approach to finding a solution to its devastation.”

Governor Lemanu continued, “I believe more involvement from our leaders in government and communities, together with the personnel and volunteers who directly interact with those impacted, will be a powerful stand against this epidemic.”
 
Lt Governor Talauega Eleasalo Ale is named as chairman of the council and members are directors of selected government departments and agencies, with three members to be appointed by the Governor, who may be from private businesses, non-profit organizations, faith-based organizations, or consumers.

The Council has four primary responsibilities:

1) Coordinate their agencies’ activities to eliminate substance abuse in American Samoa;
2) Seek stakeholders in the government and the community to address substance abuse issues;
3) Develop policies that reduce the effect of illegal drug use and substance abuse on families and children; and
4) Provide advice to the Governor on legislation and activities that are designed to reduce or eliminate substance abuse in American Samoa.