President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on Saturday reopened a drug rehabilitation and detoxification centre in Addu City.
The center was renovated and reopened after three years, according to state media. When it was shut down in 2016, the only services being offered were community service programmes for heroin addicts.
The Hithadhoo Drug Detoxification and Community Rehabilitation Centre now offers detoxification services and treatment after admission.
During his campaign trip over the weekend, President Solih pledged to build the country’s largest drug rehabilitation centre in the southernmost atoll.
Drug addiction is one of the most pressing social problems facing the country, he said.
The centre would be part of an MVR 5.3 billion project aimed at “repopulating” the second city with tourist beds, roads, housing and an international airport, he said.
According to a 2012 UN report, there are 7,496 heroin addicts in the Maldives. However, critics say the real figure is likely to be much higher.
Heroin and hashish oil are the most commonly used drugs in the Maldives, but other drugs such as LSD, ecstasy, and synthetic drugs have been found in recent years.