Young Danish drug abusers sent on two-year Caribbean ‘cruises’ – The Post

Young Danish drug abusers sent on two-year Caribbean ‘cruises’

Concerns voiced about reported drug use during rehabilitation programmes

Organisers insist, despite the location, that the programs are no holiday (photo: iStock)
June 3rd, 2015 2:22 pm| by Philip Tees

Since 2010, Frederiksund Municipality has spent almost 8 million kroner on sending young drug abusers and criminals to the Caribbean for up to two years at a time, Metroxpress reports.

The young people live on a boat where they receive tuition and sail from island to island.

Getaway from abuse environment
Flemming Olsen, the head of the families unit at the municipality, explained the rationale behind the program.

“We do it so that they can get away from the drug abuse environment,” he said.

“They may also be involved in criminality, such as drug dealing and theft. Some of them have been away for two years, but one year is the norm.”

According to Olsen, drugs and alcohol are banned during the trips.

“It’s a drug abuse treatment,” he said. “So alcohol and drugs are not allowed.”

Reported drug use
But Henrik Oxlund, the head of one of the companies subcontracted to run the programs, Den Maritime Base, gives a different account.

“We don’t have an alcohol ban, because they need to learn to drink responsibly,” he said.

“And yes, there have been problems with joints, and if we catch them they can either get a warning, be thrown out, which has happened before, or we move the ship to another harbour.”

Peter Skaarup, Dansk Folkeparti’s legal affairs spokesman, said that if drugs are consumed on the program it would be a disgrace.

“If it’s true that they have such easy access to joints and cannabis, then it’s a scandal that taxpayers are paying through the nose for it, and it’s totally irresponsible of the municipality concerned.”