Dr. Idrice Goomany Centre for the Prevention and Treatment of Alcoholism and Drug Addiction

By Abdool, Reychad | UN Chronicle, Summer 1998 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Dr. Idrice Goomany Centre for the Prevention and Treatment of Alcoholism and Drug Addiction

Abdool, Reychad, UN Chronicle


Mauritius was in the throes of an acute drug epidemic. "Brown Sugar", an adulterated form of heroin, was creating havoc among our young urban male population. Confronted with this reality and in the absence of any specialized structure to respond to the particular needs of the substance abusers, a group of young doctors and social workers decided to join hands to set up the first non-governmental organization (NGO) prevention and treatment centre in the country to address this issue in a holistic and comprehensive way.

Equipped with an abundance of goodwill and a firm belief that many substance abusers can alter their destructive behaviour provided they are offered an approach consistent with the local socio-cultural and economic contexts, a multidisciplinary team started to provide free basic counselling, medical detoxification and after-care services to a number of young addicts. While we were inspired by a number of foreign, well-established therapeutic approaches, we were also very keen to develop a "Mauritian model" in the management of substance abuse.

This model rests essentially on an out-patient, multidisciplinary approach that relies on the support of the family and the synergistic energy of a small team of full-time staff and volunteers. The important ingredients that explain our success are our strong faith in man whatever his stage of dependency, our dedication and selflessness in the effort, a professional approach to voluntary work, a quest to constantly upgrade our knowledge base and keep abreast of the latest techniques in the field, and an active community participation.


Within five years, this small community effort, which began operating on the premises of a pre-primary school, had matured into a larger team, based in a functional building put at our disposal by a collaboration between the central Government and local authorities. Our NGO status allowed us the necessary flexibility and freedom to fine tune our services in order to respond to change. By then, the substance abuse phenomenon was afflicting a larger age bracket, people living in rural areas, as well as an increasing number of women.

Apart from our treatment service and general prevention programmes, we also started a primary prevention project focusing on male out-of-school youth. The Teen Hope Project, launched in 1992, aims to provide a safe and healthy environment and promote a healthy lifestyle among young boys, aged 13 to 16, living in high-risk areas. The programme, now in its sixth year, consists of functional education, sports, life skills development, community service and job placement.

Three separate evaluations of our treatment programme indicate that about 35 to 40 per cent of our clients are getting better. This means they are no longer indulging in drug consumption, they are leading a stable professional and familial life, and they are not turning to illegal activities.


The pattern and profile of drug abuse in Mauritius have evolved once again. Today, more and more young people are beginning to use illicit drugs at an earlier age. Nor are our schools immune to the problem. Also, most substance abusers are now injecting drugs, thereby increasing the risks of contracting acquired immunodeficiency syndrome/human immunodeficiency virus (AIDS/HIV).

We have developed several training modules to provide the necessary know-how and skills to carefully selected groups of motivated women and young people that will let them identify early signs of substance use among their peers and refer them to our Centre.

Regional/international Cooperation

We have been working very closely with the International Council on Alcohol and Addictions (ICAA) for the past ten years, a collaboration which has ensured a regular exchange of information and knowledge.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Dr. Idrice Goomany Centre for the Prevention and Treatment of Alcoholism and Drug Addiction


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?