After being influenced by their peers, Mensah J. Freeman and Kerkulah David Jr. began taking drugs in 2017. The former drug users, aged in their late 30s and 60s respectively, faced numerous challenges while on the streets, including neglect and disrespect from several individuals.
However, the assistance of the Justice and Peace Commission and the Catholic Relief Services helped them overcome their addiction. In an interview, they expressed their gratitude towards the organizations and their hope of not relapsing in the future.
They also encouraged struggling young people to make use of the resources provided by JPC and warned teenagers against associating themselves with drugs.
Liberia faces a high number of unemployed young people, with at least 85% of those aged 15 to 36 lacking education and skills. This has led to a rise in criminal activities, including the use of illicit drugs.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime has expressed concern over the growing use of opiates and amphetamine-type stimulants like methamphetamine in West and Central Africa, with people who inject drugs being particularly affected.