The Drug Abuse Prevention Unit is pushing for a debate on whether the age at which young people can purchase alcohol should be moved from 18 to 21.
Jacinta Bannis who heads the Unit, says her agency wants to be advised on whether the country should go the legislative route in dealing with that matter.
Bannis said greater attention needs to be paid to the situation because abuse of alcohol by young people is becoming more rampant in Dominica.
She is of the view that the island could emulate the United States, where young people under the age of 21 are not allowed to legally purchase alcohol.
“It would have to be a debate. I cannot independently decide on that but I think if it is goes into the public domain, they would have to decide what age would be most appropriate,” the Drug Abuse Prevention Unit official said.
She observed however that if the first use of drug is delayed, “we won’t even have to think of jacking up the age.”
She wants stores, shops and other outlets where alcohol is sold to be mindful of selling alcohol to minors.
“Alcohol is the most addictive drug in the country. When people drink it brings out several problems including violence, abuse and so much more problem,” she said.
According to the anti-drug abuse official, the community should help to impress on the minds of young people, the dangers associated with the use and abuse of alcohol.