CADAM: Managing drug abuse disorders
The Centre, which was commissioned and dedicated by Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode on October 3, 2017, handles cases of people with drug abuse disorder.
The centre, according to the Director General, Pastor Dokun Adedeji, who took journalists on a tour of the facility has attended to some highly placed Nigerians, such as pilots, lawyers, doctors, undergraduates, nurses and dropouts, who were on the verge of giving up in life. Today, they have been resuscitated and they are doing well in society. Even some pastors also graduated from CADAM.
Admission into CADAM, according to Pastor Dokun Adedeji, “is free and also based on your willingness. Our administrative office where people are counseled before they come here is at Agidingbi.”
Pastor Adedeji, who explained how drug addicts are identified, said: “Through process of interview and counseling, we get to know who is a drug addict. Not everybody that tests positive is a drug addict. We don’t force people. We don’t take people who are less than 18 years. We have people in their late 40s, 50s and 60s. We offer counseling, rehabilitation services, and advocacy. The drug addicts come to us willingly, and through evangelism we get some of them. And when they see people that have graduated from here, they are also encouraged to come. Some universities send their students too.”
The Centre, which occupies a space of about 5.3 hectares of land has such facilities as Dominion Chapel; Liberty House Phase 1; Ebenezer House Phase 2; Adult Education Centre; barbing salon; library; canteen; Skill Acquisition Centre, where victims of drug abuse or beneficiaries learn different kinds of trade, such as shoe making, bead making, computer training, leather works, fashion design, tailoring, and photography, among others.
Twice a year, between March and September, CADAM admits fresh beneficiaries. A hundred people were admitted in the first phase and another 100 in the second phase, making it a total of 200 people expected to be in CADAM for one year. For instance, some of the beneficiaries will be graduating from the centre this month, and as they are leaving, new ones are coming.
The Guardian gathered that since CADAM started in 1991, the beneficiaries have gained immensely from such free services as accommodation, feeding, clothing and medical treatment, among others.
The Director General, said: “CADAM is a faith-based NGO under the Redeemed Christian Church of God. It was founded in 1991 to basically take care of drug addicts.
Our programme is for one year, which is broken into two phases. The first phase focuses on treatment, while the second is rehabilitation. Here, they have their classes, do things by themselves, including cook by themselves and so on. When Mummy GO visited in January 2016, we had only two blocks. It was then she decided to put more money here and we got an architect to design the place.
The females stay in Gboka, while the males are here. But every morning, they converge here for their morning devotion and training, after which they return to their places.”
The birth of CADAM has taken away the stress of moving beneficiaries from Epe to Lagos to complete their second phase in Akute, Onigbongbo, which they were doing before. Today, all the beneficiaries are together at the Centre.
Aside RCCG workers, the centre also engages the services of other facilitators from outside to teach beneficiaries on different vocations.
Pastor Adedeji, while appreciating Pastor Adeboye’s gesture for giving CADAM the place, initially designed for camp, said: “We teach them how to be human beings again, because many have lost their sense of discipline.
So, we tell them to wake up at 5am to do personal devotion/collective devotion, and then clean the environment, make their beds, as well as keep their rooms tidy.
Thereafter, they take breakfast and go to class. The class is both secular and spiritual. So, we tell them the need to be a good husband or wife; how to be responsible students that they can live a normal life without drugs. We pray because you need to liberate them from the bond or attachment to drugs.
We tell them that drug is not the way, rather, Jesus is the way, truth and life and if they can hold on to Him, He will sustain them for the rest of their lives. We teach them different vocations, so that when they leave here, they have something to depend on. Some people did their JAMB while here and also go to university from here.”
Some beneficiaries spoke on condition of anonymity.
A 27-year-old female beneficiary was lured into drugs by friends, which affected her law degree programme at a Nigerian university. But while in CADAM, she was encouraged to resume her educational pursuit, and today she has graduated with distinction.
There was also a 23-year-old male beneficiary, who attended three private universities, but because of his involvement in drugs, he was expelled. He started smoking cigarette at 15, when he was in secondary school. When he got into the university, he went into hard drugs, which led to expulsion from the three schools. He is graduating from CADAM this month and says he will remain eternally grateful to God and CADAM.
A 43-year-old male beneficiary, who is also graduating this month, said: “I see CADAM as God-sent. If I can change after coming here, it means others out there who are into drugs can also change. I don’t need to preach to them. Merely seeing what God has used CADAM to do in my life, they too will no doubt change. I was so brutal while in the village. My body, as you can see is full of gunshots, but by coming here, God really wanted to save my life through CADAM and I will remain grateful to them. As I leave here in March, I am going to pursue my destiny.”
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