A comprehensive National Anti-Drug Plan for Barbados is expected to be prepared by the end of this week.
Stakeholders in the fight against the scourge of illegal drug use and abuse are due to conclude a national consultation for that plan tomorrow.
The two-day working session, which opened at the Amaryllis Beach Resort in Christ Church this morning, was examining such issues as the Caribbean experiences with anti-drug strategy and drug treatment courts.
Delegates, who include representatives of the host agency, the National Council on Substance Abuse, will tomorrow hear an overview of day one activities, form working groups to prepare presentations for plenary session and discuss recommendations and the way forward.
Manager of the NCSA, Yolande Forde, gave the assurance during the opening ceremony that the new plan would soon be ready.
“And the consultation that we will have today and tomorrow with you, the national stakeholders in drug control, is a very critical plank in the preparation of that plan; because it is not the plan of the NCSA, it is Barbados’ anti-drug plan in which you necessarily have a vested interest and of course operational obligation,” Forde stated.
She said such a national strategy was crucial for any country which was serious about tackling the vexing problem of illicit drugs.
The council head noted, too, that the drug challenge also undermined the bases of sustainable development, weakened the foundation of democratic institutions, chipped away at political, social and economic stability and represented a threat to security, governance and the rule of law.
“Sorry to say, Barbados has not remained untouched or unscathed by this damning world phenomenon,” added Forde.
“An important component of the anti-drug strategy, therefore, is the development and adoption of a comprehensive plan, which sets out our national policies, defines priorities and apportions responsibilities for the various drug control efforts.”
The national consultation is being organised in collaboration with the Organisation of American States and the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission. (EJ)