During a visit to the St. Joaquin Rehabilitation Center in Santiago, Chile, Archbishop Ricardo Ezzati told those struggling to break free from drug and alcohol addiction that rehabilitation is possible.
“You all have every chance to make your lives into something very precious,” Archbishop Ezzati told the patients and staff of the center, run by the local Hope Corporation.
“The fundamental issue is prevention,” he said. “We want rehabilitation, and this foundation contributes greatly to this, but it is also important that we invest in the previous stage, not only economically, but also in that more people dedicate their time to preventing drug use.”
The Vicar General for the Archdiocese of Santiago, Father Rodrigo Tupper, said the drug problem is so vast most efforts are “ insufficient.”
“This is a tragic reality we face, especially among kids. I think we owe more to preventing drug use at that stage. We need laws related to education to help us,” Fr. Tupper said.
The Hope Corporation was created in 1995 and currently provides rehabilitation services to almost 400 men and women at centers throughout Chile.
The National Service for the Prevention and Rehabilitation of Drug and Alcohol Use warned that in Chile drug and alcohol use begins on average at age 13.