24 Sep 2003

Samoa churches say they need to do more to help combat substance abuse

10:16 am on 24 September 2003

Samoa's National Council of Churches admits churches aren't doing enough to deal with increasing problems with illegal substances.

General Secretary Reverend Fepa'i Kolia says that people struggle to contact ministers to ask for counselling and help, out of respect.

And he says the church needs to do more to combat the growing drug problem.

"Its a matter that needs attention for further development. I feel like the churches too aren't doing their job properly, and that needs training for families specifically to strengthen family life, perhaps that the root moving further to a peaceful place. 18"

Rev Kolia says the effects of young people involved in drugs is worsening with increased numbers of children being caught selling and trafficking drugs.

He blames the growing problem on the influence of movies and television programmes that are "mentally polluting" viewers.