Sale of alcohol to minors a concern

drinkingEducation Officer for Health and Family Life Education, Renna Jno Charles has raised concerns as it relates to the widespread sale of alcohol to minors in Dominica.

She raised the concern while speaking at the officially launched the second phase of the ‘Ask, Listen, Learn’ Classroom Champions Programme held at the Garraway Hotel on Tuesday.

“There is also a concern about the widespread sale of alcohol to minors and although there has been no specific research here in Dominica making a link between the abuse of alcohol and youth violence , the World Health Organization has warned that alcohol use and abuse are risk factors both for being victimized and perpetrating youth violence,” she said.

Jno Charles said the Ministry of Education has been one of the agencies on the front line trying to combat the problem, however she pointed out there is a lot more work to be done.

She believes that structures should be put in place to make it more difficult for children and youth to have easy access to alcohol.

Renna Jno Charles is Coordinator for Health and Family Life Education
Renna Jno Charles is Coordinator for Health and Family Life Education

‘’We cannot emphasize enough the findings of the World Health Organization’s Global Alcohol Report of 2014 which ranked (Dominica) number 5 in the global alcohol consumption countries per capita and found that alcohol consumption was very high among young people,” she stated. “We also cannot afford to ignore the 2006 secondary school survey which was conducted by the Drug Abuse Prevention Unit and found that alcohol was the most widely use substance among the survey population and at 52.3 percent of the sample had used alcohol within 30 days prior to the survey.”

She made reference to an article published on The Sun Newspaper recently which stated that the Drug Abuse Prevention Unit continues to raise the alarm about the high level of abuse of alcohol among secondary school students on the island.

“And the unit is also expressing concerns for students between the ages of 8 and 12 years old as some children start using and abusing alcohol at age 12,” she noted. ‘’ There are also maybe incidences where they are starting before that time.”

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  1. September 22, 2016

    Do you not have a law in Dominica that forbids the sale of alcohol to children under a certain age? If so, is it enforced? If not, where are the police? Why is there this breakdown in enforcement?

    Adults (even parents) should not send a child out to buy alcoholic products for them. This way an under age person would never be able to say it is for some adult.

    If such a law exists in Dominica shopkeepers who sell to under aged youth should be charged and have their retail license revoked.

    Basically, it all boils down to not having proper laws or a lack of enforcement. This puts the ball right in the government’s court. They could fix the problem but they have decided not to. What does this tell you?
    If Dominica ever legalizes marijuana don’t expect the government to put laws in place to regulate it and enforce those laws because they have not done that for alcohol.

    Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. Evangelist.

    • September 22, 2016

      Parents who drink are a source of the problem.

      (1) Children who know their parents do not drink assume there must be something wrong with alcohol and are much less apt to buy it for themselves.

      (2) Parents who do not use alcohol have an opportunity to teach their kids about the harm of drinking.

      (3) Parents who drink will usually have a supply of alcoholic beverages in their home. Sooner or later the kids will likely get into it.

      (4) Parents who do not drink are not going to be sending a child out to buy alcohol for them.

      Education may be the most effective weapon you have to use against any for of substance abuse.

      The sale of tobacco and alcoholic products were licensed at a time in history when little was know about their dangers. I remember discussing this with my Ph.D. instructor after a counseling class. He said it was very unlikely that either would pass to be licensed now with what is known.

      Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. Evangelist.

      • September 22, 2016

        Your suggestion that Dominican parents are incapable of enjoying alcohol responsibly while raising their children to do the same is as laughable as it is offensive.

        As for your call to prohibit it, are there any other aspects of Sharia law you’d like Dominica to introduce while you’re at it?

  2. September 21, 2016

    “We cannot emphasize enough the findings of the World Health Organization’s Global Alcohol Report of 2014 which ranked (Dominica) number 5 in the global alcohol consumption countries per capita and found that alcohol consumption was very high among young people”

    I’m sorry, but this is completely, gratuitously untrue. The report is here:

    Look at the first appendix, the first column. We’re not fifth in the world, not even close. In fact, we drink less per capita than Russians, Britons, Norwegians, Canadians. and Americans, among many, many others.

    I’m not saying we shouldn’t respond to real societal problems, or that I want kids to drunk up, but alarmism based on nonsense isn’t the way to determine which problems are the most pressing.

    • September 26, 2016

      Years ago I worked with a man in the same job. He and his wife were both heavy drinkers. It seems he spent most Saturdays in a bar with his buddies taking turns buying “the next round”. It was his life. Most of his conversations at work during the week would be about the good times at the bar the previous Saturday.

      It was a joke in our workplace that it is the “worst bar in Toronto. No wonder he sits with his back to the wall.”

      I knew he had a couple of sons so I asked him once if he thought his drinking might have a bad effect on his boys. He said he thought just the opposite. He told me he and his wife felt they were a good example by showing the kids how to drink responsibly, and it was important that the boys see this while they are growing up.

      Years after I left that workplace I was informed this man and his wife had both died from a disease undoubtedly caused by alcohol. So sad! They were old enough to retire but too young to die. :cry:

      Sincerely, Rev…

  3. cameron
    September 21, 2016


    • shay
      September 21, 2016

      I rebuke you!!! Dominica has the same issues like very other country. So if that’s the case, the entire world is doomed.

    • Tell the Facts
      September 21, 2016

      You are exaggerating. If Dominica is doomed, you in it are doomed.
      Dominica is not doomed at all. This problem is really no different to other countries worldwide. Each has similar problems. Of course it depends on the population of those countries.
      A law should be enacted against the sale of alcohol to minors. In addition, minors should not be allowed in entertainment places which sell liquor. A student/youth ID should be requested for those who are suspected to be minors..

  4. Concerned
    September 21, 2016

    Its good to come out & discuss these things publicly for the sake our children, our families & our communities. The objective nonetheless is not only to identify the problem but to also identify the challenges & issues in our country that give rise to it, so that the correct prescriptive measures can be applied. And what are these challenges & issues? They have to do with the family structure, parental control, education system, economic opportunity, the legal structure & law enforcement, leadership at both the socio-political & personal levels. The solutions can emanate from an objective & dispassionate analysis of the issues & challenges, but they must be rooted in the communities & the discussions must be participatory. So having identified what the problem is, we must then identify how to address it, provide a time frame, where they are most prevalent & how the children will be involved & how to enhance their consciousnesses. But we must not sweep sweep them under the carpet.

  5. D/can to De Bone(F)
    September 21, 2016

    To much talk in Dominica . We know and high light the problem yet the authority do nothing about . Pass laws and deal with the problems . shops should not sell alcohol to for underage children.

  6. September 20, 2016

    what about house parties , first communion ,confirmation. that is where a lot of minors begin to drink. most times it is the adults who are responsible and don’t even talk about carnival and other fetes .why are we behaving like this is something new ?

    • September 22, 2016

      “…first communion, confirmation. That is where a lot of minors begin to drink.”

      I don’t doubt this. But oh, it is so shameful!

      Let it say something to you about the difference between Biblical Christianity and a false belief system of the world. One offers you the gift of salvation from sin and deliverance from a destructive lifestyle through faith in Christ and the finished work of Calvary. The other offers a faint hope of salvation through unscriptural rituals, ceremonies, and your own efforts. It gives you no certainty of heaven, and leaves you trapped in the bondage of sins it gives you no power to overcome.

      Please find a Bible and read:

      Isaiah 53:5,6
      Romans 5:6-8
      1 Corinthians 15:1-4
      Romans 1:16
      John 3:16,17
      Ephesians 2:8,9
      1 John 5:11-13

      Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. Evangelist.

  7. Zor Bon La
    September 20, 2016

    “There is also a concern about the widespread sale of alcohol to minors and although there has been no specific research here in Dominica making a link between the abuse of alcohol and youth violence , the World Health Organization has warned that alcohol use and abuse are risk factors both for being victimized and perpetrating youth violence,” she said. In this regard Miss Jno. Charles, what has been done by law enforcement to combat the sale of alcohol to minors? I know we cannot put a police officer in every shop but even at major functions, there is no control. There are no repercussions for those caught in the act. How do we combat a problem if we ignore it. Furthermore, when the police does the ground work what does the justice system do to discourage the practice? We need to desist from making blank statements and use our time implementing measures to combat the problem. There has been no study? Fine. Then conduct one. Action!!

    • September 22, 2016

      Do we need a study to link alcohol with youth violence?

      (1) Should it not be enough to know that alcohol contributes to violence among adults? Why should we assume that young people who ingest alcohol would have more self control than adults who ingest alcohol?

      (2) Is it reasonable to think that a youth who has been drinking alcohol would be so well behaved that he (she) would avoid a confrontation if a disagreement broke out? Common sense tells us the kid would be even more apt to resort to violence.

      (3) A young person who is drinking is likely already with others in rowdy company or an atmosphere that is conductive to violence.

      Thank God for people who recognize the sale of alcohol to minors to be the problem it is, and are doing what they can to stop it. They bear the brunt of doing a job some troubled people don’t appreciate. Jno Charles has offered suggestions that should be implemented.

      Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill.

  8. Channel 1
    September 20, 2016

    And what about the sale of alcohol to adults? That ain’t a concern? 8-O 8-O

    • September 22, 2016

      And of course this should be a big concern.

      The parents buy it and take it home. That is usually where the kids get their first sip!

      I remember hearing of a teen who said her mother lectured her for smoking a joint. The girl said “Mom lectured me with a martini in one hand and a cigarette in the other.” And we wonder why we are losing the present generation!

      I heard of a mother who sent her little girl to the bar late one Friday evening to ask her father to come home. The mother worried about him spending all his grocery money on booze.

      No community ever became a better place to live because a tavern opened.

      No man ever became a better husband or father because he began drinking.

      No employee ever became a better worker because of alcohol.

      Did you hear lately of the two airline pilots who were fired for showing up at work drunk? (Yes, this is true.)

      But governments allow adults to buy the stuff because of the money they rake in from the taxes.


  9. Tell the Facts
    September 20, 2016

    It may be what they see occurring in the home. The same applies when they visit friends and when they socialize.
    Education from youth is important. Some governments teach sex education and the likes at an early age. I do not see why minors cannot be taught, at an early age of the hazard of alcohol consumption and relevant discipline.
    The government should inform adults, as parents, if they are in the habit or be it sporadically of sending these youths to purchase alcohol to refrain from doing so.
    These minors, if students, should have an ID which should be presented to liquor store employees prior to the purchase of alcohol.
    Instruct the store owners/employees where alcohol is sold that, sale of alcohol to minors is prohibited. If in doubt about their age, request to see their ID. If they are caught selling alcohol to minors, a charge and penalty will ensue.
    Let this be known throughout Dominica. It should restrict the sale of alcohol to minors.

  10. nicole
    September 20, 2016

    Where are the PARENTS of these kids who are drinking alcohol?

    Shouldn’t family and social services departments be even more involved than the education department?

    Teach PARENTS how to be good parents so they can raise kids with better values and monitor them well. It is THEIR children. They are the ones who can better communicate with them and instill positive habits in them.

    If you all expect shop keepers to pass up a buck and refuse to sell products simply because they are children, you all are sadly mistaken. Although they SHOULD do that, most sellers at alcohol selling establishments WON”T. They would prefer to make the money.

    PARENTS lets do what we need to do for our children so that the rest of society willo have less work to do. If you dont want to do ALL which is required to raise a child, DON”T have children!

    • September 22, 2016


      You are correct in every statement in your comment. Government department should implement this wisdom because their failure to already do so is contributing to the current mess. Speak out! Keep writing!
      Be a voice in your generation.

      It is incredibly frustrating to know the government could change things but they are simply refusing to do so. I include myself in this because we have the same abominations in Canada, even worse! Don’t think I am picking on Dominica. I preach internationally and my writing goes around the world.

      Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. Evangelist.

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