In uncertain minds
What I was told – the continuing search for internal peace

The out-of-control problem of drug & alcohol abuse in PNG

Drugs  Their Dangers in PNGPHIL FITZPATRICK

Drugs and Their Dangers in Papua New Guinea by Philip Kai Morre, Simbu Writer’s Association, 2015, 142 pp, ISBN: 978-1519479792. Available from Amazon books for US$4.49 plus postage (Kindle US$1.00).

DRUG and alcohol abuse in Papua New Guinea is a huge problem. From that abuse stems so many other issues that are endemic in the nation.

These include out-of-control law and order, the abuse of women and children, serious medical problems like HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis and a raft of socio-economic problems.

At the other end of the spectrum there seems to be little inclination to understand what causes people to abuse these substances in the first place - and even less inclination on the part of the government to do anything about it.

At best the government adopts a crude knee-jerk reaction by coming down heavily on the victims. At worst it does absolutely nothing at all.

The health system in Papua New Guinea is poorly resourced, short staffed and under enormous stress. It is too busy trying to get basic health care to people and hasn’t time or money to effectively analyse problems like drug and alcohol abuse.

This is why none of the hospitals in Papua New Guinea have drug rehabilitation clinics.

Here and there, however, some provinces, with the support of a few dedicated souls, are attempting to tackle the problem.

Philip Kai MorreOne of these groups is the Alcohol & Drug Rehabilitation Centre in Kundiawa run by Philip Kai Morre (pictured).

Philip is one of a dedicated band of people who care about what is happening in their society and are trying to do something about it.

He is a drug educator and addiction counsellor of many years’ experience who is Kundiawa-born. He studied theology, philosophy and anthropology at the Holy Spirit Seminary at Bomana outside Port Moresby and is the founder of the Simbu rehab centre.

We occasionally learn about these lone crusaders valiantly trying to improve the lot of their fellow countrymen and countrywomen despite all the odds stacked against them.

They are an inspiration in a country where people seldom think much beyond their immediate family and clan.

Philip has a team of low paid and voluntary helpers who are helping the druggies and alcoholics without penalising them. They are also trying to spread the message about the dangers of drug abuse and alcohol.

It is towards this aim that Philip has written a manual about drugs and alcohol and their inherent dangers. It is seen as another tool in getting out the message and hopefully doing something about the problem.

With few resources of his own, and being a member of the Simbu Writer’s Association, Philip approached SWA for help.

Through the good graces of editor Francis Nii and a number of other people with expertise, Philip’s book, Drugs and Their Dangers in Papua New Guinea, has been produced as a special SWA initiative.

It is a simple guide to the identification of drugs, their effects and the possibilities for their treatment, as well as being a technical manual for reference by people engaged as drug counsellors or in responsible positions, such as teachers and church leaders, likely to be exposed to the problem.

It is hoped that the book can be distributed widely in Simbu Province, especially to schools, and more widely into greater Papua New Guinea.

If you would like to help with this worthwhile cause by donating funds for its distribution I’m sure Philip, through Francis Nii and the SWA, would be happy to hear from you.

You can contact Francis here



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Philip Kai Morre

Francis Nii has been very sick and underwent surgery. His waterbed was stolen making him uncomfortable and he hardly ate for almost two weeks. He was on glucose fed through a tube for some time.

I checked him few times and replaced his stolen bed. Francis is smiling now, meaning he is recovering.

I went to him with my second edition on drugs and their dangers in PNG and despite his hardship he managed to publish it through Amazon.

Unfortunately for me, however, the second edition was much more expensive than the first.

Philip Fitzpatrick

Francis has been unwell for a while but is now getting better and is back working on his publications William.

William Dunlop

Francis Nii has been strangely quiet, six weeks now. I checked with his daughter in Port Moresby and she told me he was not feeling well.

Is anyone aware of our wantok's health status?

Jonathan Mok

Alcohol consumption must be stopped or minimized before it gets out of hand.

Wilson Wilo

Very true and significant information. it has become become a habit for many young people in our country.

Immanuel Sawan

How can I get hold of one of the copies of the book and can someone provide me with the contact details of Philip Kai Morre?

Philip's email is - KJ

Peter Maima

Philip thanks for tireless work.jerry Maima

Daniel Ipan Kumbon

In the beginning it was about addiction to alcohol (beer) that I, as a journalist, was reporting about. Now its a multitude of drugs - it's abuse out of control it seems. Thus the book by Philip Morre

Here is a poem by Adrian Keefe an Australian who managed a shop in Wabag town in the 1980s. I published his poem in the October issue of the provincial newspaper 'Enga Nius'....

'Reflections of a summer’s end, by Adrian Keefe (1987)

Beer-massaged hearts
Loyal till collapse
to keep up the pace of a body gone berserk

I see bumps in the fabric
Enga has developed Hives
There’s a lot inside which is disturbed
Not quite okay

Beer-massaged hearts
Loyal till collapse

There’s a dog across the way
I can hear him
He’s in need..
Caught by the neck
At the end of a rope
Oh Enga!

Arnold  Mundua

You both told me about it and its finally out. Congratulations Philip and Fr ancis.

Kela Kapkora Sil Bolkin

Congratulations, Mr. Morre.

Peter Maima

Congratulations to Philip a tireless drug advocate and counsellor...

Finally we have a book on drugs which will guide the young youths who are in schools. Thanks editor Francis and SWA.

Daniel Ipan Kumbon

Congratulations Philip. Drug addiction is a real problem in this country.

Young people are like flies to honey when they see drugs. They don't appear to have the willpower to say 'no'. Hope schools will make it available to our students.

Mathias Kin

Congratulations to Philip Kai, editor Francis Nii and to the SWA on another successful publication of book.

I have worked with him in the Simbu administration and Philip is certainly a credible crusader in this field trying to address the issues of drug abuse among the youths in Simbu.

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