The American Samoa public defender Michael White has added his voice to calls for a drug rehabilitation centre to be built in the territory.
The Secretary of Samoan Affairs, Mauga Tasi Asuega, had previously urged the government to take such action.
Mr White said there was a definite need for such a facility.
He said drug addiction was a medical condition and should be treated in the same way as diabetes or heart disease.
Mr White said that the treatment of drug users requires personnel with specialised training.
He said the counselling programmes that are currently available, while welcome, are not effective in curing drug addiction.
Mauga Tasi Asuega had told a House Public Safety Committee hearing that he had urged the governor Lolo Moliga to make the establishment of a drug rehabilitation centre a priority.
"We just can't keep sending our children to jail for using drugs, we need to treat the disease," he said.