Drug use among girls a concern for NCSA
The National Council on Substance Abuse (NCSA) said it was concerned about the number of girls between the ages 12 and 18 involved in illegal drugs either directly or indirectly.
“For some time, we have been involved in the juvenile courts, and a lot of times when these young girls are charged for wandering . . . there is some type of drug abuse involved. They are either running away from it; they are actively involved and that is a way, just to leave home to do what they have to do; or it is actually happening in the schools,” NCSA Manager Betty Hunte said Wednesday following a ceremony to present 52 participants from across various agencies with Training and Certification Programme for Drug Abuse and Violence Prevention (PROCCER) certificates.
Hunte stressed that the issue of drug use in Barbados was no longer just a “boys on the block” issue, and that the NCSA was looking to develop programmes targeting girls
In addition, the NCSA Manager said it was becoming more difficult to manage and police the different trends, with new synthetic drugs entering the market.
“The misuse of drugs has become a real social problem, with implications for health, crime, community disintegration, the workplace and all aspects of our development,” she told participants.
However, Hunte made it clear that Barbados’ approach to drugs remained clear and its strategy was outlined in the island’s five-year National Anti-Drug Plan.
She also emphasized that it was important to ensure that law enforcement was adequately equipped to protect society by stopping the supply and tackling crimes associated with the drugs trade.
She also welcomed the multi-agency collaboration which contributed to the success of the training programme, noting that it was important to get everyone on board to support those affected by substance abuse.
Agencies participating in the programme included the Royal Barbados Police Force; Mount Zion’s Missions Inc; PAREDOS; the Albert Cecil Graham Development Centre; the Centre for Counselling Addiction Support Alternatives; the Child Care Board; the Psychiatric Hospital; Verdun House; and staff and volunteers of the NCSA.
The PROCCER programme was created by the Organization of American States through its Drug Abuse Control Commission with the aim of providing staff training and institutional capacity-building in the prevention of drug abuse and violence and drug treatment methods.
It was first introduced to the English-speaking Caribbean in 2011, and Government agreed to its introduction to enhance its capacity to deliver prevention and