Ex-drug addict takes peers off the streets

A former drug addict known as Mark Merriam has joined other organizations here to take young people of the streets, mainly alleged drug addicts.Speaking in an interview to this paper recently, Merriam said he was addicted to drugs for 16 years.

But now he says he runs a not – for – profit and nongovernmental organization called Retrieving the Destiny of the Young (RDY) which helps to rehabilitate drug users from various ghettos across Liberia.Merriam says drug addiction is dangerous than the deadly Ebola Virus disease that killed hundreds of people in Liberia, but he observes that much attention is not paid to this sector.

He believes that when he takes someone off the street it is a million dollars check for him because it is like he has saved a whole generation.Merriam warns that the issue of drug in Liberia is very serious but it has been unnoticed by the Government of Liberia, the Council of Churches and even parents.

He says it took God to release people of that spirit, and he feels very proud to make impact on the life of people that are involved in what he used to do too.He acknowledges that government is trying its best when it’s come to taking drug addict off the streets, but he thinks government need so to do more.

According to Merriam, he has been doing this work since 2010 and up to present, making impact on the lives of his peers. He notes that some of the work they do is to take young people off the streets, counsel them and take them back to their parents.

Following that process, he says they check on those that they have reunited with their families to be sure that they are okay.According to him, his organization has rehabilitated 300 persons from Nimba, Margibi, Bong and Montserrado Counties from last year up to now.

By Bridgett Milton–Edited by Winston W. Parley

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