To plan and recommend developments and updates to the National Policy in the field of drug and alcohol abuse and compulsive gambling, and to provide service in health promotion, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation to persons with drug and/or alcohol problems and other similar conditions, and to their families, so as to help them live a stable life and to integrate better in society.
Aġenzija Sedqa aims to increase public awareness of the harm caused by addictive behaviours and imparts skills in order to prevent or to delay the development of such patterns. It also supports persons who have developed an addiction and their significant others to modify their lifestyles so as to lead a healthier and more satisfying life whilst becoming productive citizens within society. Aġenzija Sedqa seeks to do this whilst maintaining high ethical and professional standards in all its interventions with every individual who seeks its assistance.
The word sedqa has been derived from the phrase of the national Maltese anthem - seddaq il-għaqda fil-Maltin u s-sliem. This means “to enhance” or “to consolidate”. Aġenzija Sedqa is a national executive and non-profit making agency that is fully-funded by the state and works in the field of substance abuse, compulsive gambling and other dependencies. Together with Aġenzija Appoġġ and Aġenzija Sapport, it forms part of the Foundation for Social Welfare Services (FSWS) and its remit covers the provision of care, prevention and research services with regard to drugs and alcohol abuse, compulsive gambling and other dependencies.
Prior to 1993, there were several disjointed services in the field of drug and alcohol abuse. A working committee was set up to evaluate these services, identify areas that need further attention and forward recommendations. By August 1993, the working committee presented the Meli Report (named after the chair of the working committee, then Magistrate Dr Silvio Meli), recommending a reform in the sector. This change had to include the setting up of an executive co-ordinating agency to provide services within the specific field.
In January 1994, a National co-ordinating body was set up to forward proposals for the reform mentioned in the Meli Report. By April 1994 and after consultation with various foreign professionals in related fields, a final document of what measures could be taken, was presented to the then Minister for Home Affairs and Social Development. Following that, Aġenzija Sedqa, the National Agency Against Drug and Alcohol Abuse, was officially set up on the 26th June 1994. Incidentally, the 26th June is the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.
The Aġenzija Sedqa is led by an Operations Director, a Clinical Director and 3 Managers. Aġenzija Sedqa provides both Prevention and Care Services. These are continuously supported by the Corporate Services of the Foundation for Social Welfare Services.