Drug Awareness Month opens with panel discussion at PMH

The National Drug Prevention Unit has officially launched Drug Awareness Month 2010 under the theme ‘Responsibility – the key to being drug free.’

Head of the Drug Squad Inspector Joseph Williams, School guidance counselor Thomas Holmes, Mr. Dave Laudat – Social Worker of the Acute Psychiatric Unit, and Director of the Drug Abuse Prevention Unit Jacinta Bannis all formed part of a panel discussion at the Princess Margaret Hospital on Tuesday morning.

The panel discussion was geared at raising the awareness of the illegal use of drugs in Dominica

Williams told this morning’s ceremony that over the years the drug squad has grown from strength to strength and have intensified efforts at reducing the drug supply.

“Cannabis and Cocaine are most prevalent in Dominica and the local supply derives from local cultivation and importation…we have adopted bush patrols as the main thrust of combating cultivation and our effort are both
information driven and planned patrols,” he said.

“We also have a very active drug trade between neighboring islands particularly St. Vincent and to complement that we have a very active trade from South America because cocaine is not produced in Dominica. It comes from Columbia, Venezuela and it comes up the island. Dominica is really regarded as a transshipment point for these drugs,” he continued.

Meantime, Holmes told the panel discussion that too many of Dominica’s young people are involved in drug abuse.

“Youngsters do drugs because they see others do it, including parents. There are many parents who do drugs in the presence of their parents. These children also do drugs because they are curious. Drugs kill brain cells; it gives them a false sense of belonging and it interferes with the ability to think clearly also it prevents the body from growing properly,” he said.

Holmes said teachers must be trained in the areas of drug education while the guidance counselors should also be trained.

A number of activities have been planned for the month of awareness. They include talks shows, talks at various schools and a major drug prevention rally.

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1 Comment

  1. January 5, 2010

    Now that we got a new national security minister – i would like to see measures put in place to combat the drug problem in the east- west – south and north. Mr minister please tighten ya grip on things! Dominica is a lil to freee in terms of the drug men and women bringing stufff back door and on the coast lines! wish the minister can come up with tuff measures like President Obama and talk tuff to drug men and women. Make Da a better place. Mr minister – they people are depending on ya.

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