Five residents of the Santa Marija drug rehabilitation complex completed a drug rehabilitation programme and graduated as ‘drug free’ on Monday evening. 

The residents managed to break away from their addiction during a 14-month residential programme run by the government’s Sedqa agency.

The rehabilitation period was divided into phases focused on physical, mental, and emotional recovery as well as preparation for reintegration into society.  

During the ceremony, the graduates were given a certificate. They also hung a token on a tree located in the middle of the complex’s garden representing the “life of the community”. 

The theme of Monday's graduation was "With the strength of others, we can grow together and cherish our lives."

Relatives of the graduates spoke during the ceremony, reflecting on their life before their loved ones began their rehabilitation programme and how addiction affected them.

They also spoke about how they were proud of their progress and saw how they developed and grew during their rehabilitation programme.

President George Vella praised the graduates for addressing their drug problem in the first place, despite the difficulties they faced.

"This was a long and difficult journey. This was not a holiday you experienced," he said.

He said the residents grew emotionally and gained resilience, determination, and strength during their programme.

He thanked all the relatives of the residents and the professionals for their work and support.

Clinical director Anna Maria Vella, Seqda Operations director Charles Scerri,FSWS CEO Alfred Grixti, and Social Policy Minister Michael Falzon were also present at the ceremony.

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