The consumption of alcohol among young people continues to be a major problem in Dominica.
Acting Director of Primary Health Care Services, Dr. Laura Esprit, said 46.9 percent of the Dominican population, 15 years and over, consume at least 60 grams or more of pure alcohol in 30 days in 2010.
She made this statement during a national consultation on a Strategic Plan for Alcohol and other Drug Abuse Prevention held at the Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) APU building on Wednesday.
The statistics are based on a 2014 World Health Organization (WHO) report on the global status of alcohol, according to Esprit.
“Also 8.1 percent of males and 3.1 percent of females suffered from some form of alcohol use disorder as compared to 3.8 percent males and 1.8 percent females who shows signs of alcohol dependence and harmful use of alcohol in the same year,” she said.
Esprit said the forgoing statistics are consistent with what was seen from a 2006 secondary school survey conducted by the National Drug Abuse Prevention Unit in Dominica.
According to that survery, “alcohol was the most widely used substance among the survey population followed by marijuana and tobacco cigarettes.”
“That 52.3 percent of the sample had used alcohol within 30 days prior to the survey, also marijuana was the most widely used elicit substance and that 11.5 percent of those surveyed were current marijuana users,” she said.
She stated that a larger population of male use both elicit and licit substances compared to their female counterparts.
Also she mentioned the impact of substance abuse on the family.
“We have seen instances where both the addict and his or her addiction becomes a burden for the family, financially and otherwise,” Dr. Esprit noted.