Drug users going hardcore

An increasing number of young Barbadians are graduating from marijuana to hardcore drugs such as cocaine and heroin, revealed Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite.

Speaking at the National Council on Substance Abuse (NCSA) 21st anniversary awards ceremony at Accra Beach Resort last weekend, Brathwaite said a change in abuse patterns had become apparent shortly after last year’s opening of a Drug Court for the rehabilitation of offenders.

He said it had become even more obvious with the latest group of juveniles who appeared before the court.

“What is noticeable about this new cadre of individuals is that, whereas with the first set of individuals we were discussing abuse of marijuana, now we’re seeing people coming to us with [issues of] abuse of cocaine, heroin, etc,” Brathwaite told NCSA staff, volunteers, and other supporters.

“So the reality is, in this little country of ours, we do have more of a problem than people believe.”

The Attorney General said that amid this emerging trend, some Barbadians continued to call for the legalization of marijuana.

However, he said while he was not in favour of turning young people into criminals over the use of small quantities of cannabis, all the implications of decriminalization had to be explored before a decision could be taken in this regard.

“I’m not for the criminalization of our young people for small quantities of marijuana. I am not in favour of that at all, but I’m certainly not going to go in the direction of encouraging the Government of Barbados to legalize marijuana, or any drug, without us understanding the implications for us as a country, for our young people in particular,” he said.

“Let us discuss the health challenges . . . because what these persons don’t see is what I see.”

Brathwaite reported that administrators at the Psychiatric Hospital and rehabilitation facilities such as Verdun House and the Centre for Counselling and Addiction Support Alternatives had been reporting on the number of young men, in particular, who turned up at their doors to fight substance abuse. Those youngsters, he said, included those who “went to secondary schools, and decent secondary schools, but still dabbled in illegal substances”.

The Attorney General further warned that Barbados could soon see large-scale importation of synthetic drugs currently seen in North America and other parts of the developed world.

He also called for more training for NCSA staff and greater collaboration with international partner agencies.

“They will come to our shores . . . given the new substances, and given what we’re seeing in the international community in terms of abuse new synthetic substances,” he cautioned.

“We need to be on the cutting edge of response to what is coming to us in the future. We cannot bury our heads in the sand and assume that it will not happen in Barbados. We have to assume that what we’re seeing in North America, in terms of the challenges with their young people, that we are going to have the same challenges.”

Meanwhile, NCSA Chairman Dale Callender warned that the strategy for dealing with drug use must change in the face of new challenges.

“Old problems have been transformed, and new ones have arisen. We must constantly employ new tools, new systems, and new responses,” Callender said. “We must refocus our work and our programme to tackle these new challenges.” 

9 Responses to Drug users going hardcore

  1. Hal Austin September 21, 2016 at 4:42 am

    Two things: first,the attorney general must learn that occupying one of the high offices of state he must dress the part. The message he is sending in his casual look is precisely the opposite of what he is saying.
    About graduating from marijuana to hard drugs, it is not an inevitable course.
    Look at the facts: most cocaine originates in Colombia and Peru, so investigate that South American connection.
    This is the government that wanted to offer a Cuban so-called artist, convicted for smuggling drugs, the right of residence in Barbados. Think about it. He obviously had a ready market in the island.
    Second, Afghanistan and Pakistan are the global sources of heroin. We have a growing population of Pakistani heritage. Investigate this connection.
    I say again, this attorney general is clearly not up to the job and we must get rid of him

  2. jrsmith September 21, 2016 at 6:11 am

    How could you take time from a person who cannot define his job and what it means…as for his dress code he looks the same down and out as the labour leader Corbyn in the ( UK ) ..

  3. Tony Webster September 21, 2016 at 6:31 am

    This sort of official commentary is best reserved for a sound-bite on TV-8 “news”. Simply pathetic.

  4. Alex Alleyne September 21, 2016 at 8:50 am

    “In this little Country of ours, we do have more of a problem than people believe”.
    The AG.

  5. La verdad September 21, 2016 at 9:57 am

    This guy has no clue whatsoever about his job or the words that’s coming out of his mouth. He is saying what the residents of the ” little rock ” called Barbados has known for years , he is way behind time. he always puts his foot in his mouth whenever he opens it . . .right up to his knees.
    This guy not only lives on a rock ( excuse my choice of words bajans ) he also lives UNDER THE ROCK .

  6. Sandra Frederick September 21, 2016 at 11:50 am

    Where is they a school in BIM that is not a decent one, I though all school were the same.

  7. Donild Trimp September 21, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    I have no idea what the AG is trying to convey with the following statement.

    “Those youngsters, he said, included those who “went to secondary schools, and decent secondary schools, but still dabbled in illegal substances”.

    Intellectually weak statement from an educated individual.

    • harry turnover September 21, 2016 at 4:12 pm

      I don’t know what he is trying to convey EITHER….cause look at he..he went to a Secondary School probably a DECENT one too and look at he……making a STUPID statement like that.
      This would have to be the BEST example of someone SPITTING IN THE AIR….and this is coming from A MINISTER jack..lord have mercy.

  8. BoboTheClown September 21, 2016 at 1:30 pm

    We have one if not the most progressive Island in the West Indies.
    Our currency is higher than most of the bigger Islands that have more resources than we do.As any sensible or smart indivisual would expect , drug dealers know this .They know that if they can get their product(drugs) into Barbados it will garner them more cash and quicker than say Trinidad, Guyana , or Jamaica ,even though we have a smaller population because of our dollar.. It is therefore imperative that those in charge of manning the Ports of entry be as vigilant as possible . They need to have enough staff ,and the proper tools to confront what we are facing .
    The AG seem to recognize that the problem is much bigger than most of us think ,but yet he has not offered any solution at all, that would in someway be seen as a step toward cutting off the source.I have not heard a single recommendation . He makes these statements ,but yet can’t seem to offer a single solution.


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