WE CARE has demonstrated to be a leading agency in the area of addictions recovery work and specialises in providing therapeutic rehabilitation work for recovering addicts. Read more on what Ms Tham Yuen Han, Executive Director of WE CARE, has to say about the organisation's anti-drug efforts below.
- How long has WE CARE Community Services been involved in the anti-drug cause?
Ms Tham Yuen Han: From inception of the agency in 2005, WE CARE has been involved in the anti-drug cause. In 2005, WE CARE, then known as the WE Foundation Limited, was incorporated and registered under the Charities Act by mental healthcare professionals who felt the need to have a centre providing aftercare support for people recovering from behavioural and/or substance addictions after their initial treatments. To further the organisation charity purposes, it became a full member of the National Council of Social Service. By December 2006, WE CARE was approved as an IPC charity. This is the 10th year we have been in operation, and we are very proud that we have stayed relevant and is able to reach out to a wider audience over the years with more comprehensive and holistic services.
- What kept WE CARE Community Services inspired to actively contribute to the anti-drug cause after all these years?
Ms Tham Yuen Han: Recovery from addictive disorder is a lifelong process. As our beneficiaries are primarily from the low income group, many are not able to afford long-term professional and support services. WE CARE is the first and only non faith-based facility in Singapore that provides professional services and help, for persons and families that are impacted by addiction, at very affordable rates. We provide support and treatment programmes for all forms of addiction, including drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex, and various other compulsive behaviours. Our goal is to help them overcome the addiction, regain dignity, renew family ties and become productive members of society. With family members, we work with them to build resilience, support the recovery of their loved ones and learn to break the cycle of addiction in future generations.
- What has been WE CARE Community Services' greatest satisfaction throughout the years of contribution to the anti-drug cause?
Ms Tham Yuen Han: Addiction is a relapsing disease. Our greatest satisfaction is when we are able to help someone get back on the path of recovery, despite multiple relapses, to eventually learn to live an addiction-free life. Testimonial from Aziz, a 45 year old Malay recovering from more than 25 years of drug addiction: "I am thankful to WE CARE for introducing me to recovering individuals whom I could identify with. Although I am still dealing with life's issues, I am grateful for the gift of being in a position to better manage them, without turning to drugs. For this I am grateful to WE CARE".Testimonial from Benson, a 37 year old Chinese recovering from more than 10 years of drug addiction: "Recovery is difficult to do alone. At WE CARE, I found hope and learned to love. Now my wife is expecting after trying for a baby for the past 6 years. With the support I get from WE CARE staff and drop-ins, I'm ready to move to my next step in life."
- Does WE CARE Community Services have any advice for individuals who are faced with the temptations of abusing drugs?
Ms Tham Yuen Han: Nobody chooses to become an addict. When we make the choice for a momentary thrill and euphoria, we may be unknowingly stepping into a lifetime of chaos, broken dreams and forsaken opportunities. Some take a lifetime to make up for that one moment of folly. Think hard and long before you take the first one, while you still can exercise control.