Health minister calls for collaboration to fight drug abuse

Dr. Darroux called for more access to drug dependence treatment, care services and HIV prevention
Dr. Darroux called for more access to drug dependence treatment, care services and HIV prevention for drug users

The high rate of patients with drug related diagnoses who are admitted to the Acute Psychiatric Unit (APU) is worrying to health minister, Dr. Kenneth Darroux and he is pleading for collaboration from all and sundry to reduce and prevent drug use and demand on island.

The minister made the remarks while delivering an address, in which he officially declared open, activities for Drug Awareness Month, this month.

“National statistics indicate that over 70 percent of clients admitted to the psychiatric unit are diagnosed with drug endocytosis,” Dr. Darroux said. “This is much cause for concern…the community and the nation’s productivity is compromised when these individuals are unable to meaningfully contribute towards this process.”

He is calling on the nation to join hands in support.

“The task of drug demand reduction is much bigger than the national Drug Abuse Prevention Unit. We have been given hope that drug use disorders are preventable. However, it requires the involvement, commitment and cooperation from all and sundry,” he pointed out.

“I therefore call on every responsible individual, parent, family, church leader, family based organization, cooperate business, public and private sector organizations…and policy makers to collaborate with the unit in its education and awareness campaign geared towards drug prevention and demand reduction,” he said.

He said everyone’s role is already clearly outlined “and no one is better at executing them but you.”

Dr. Darroux also called for the promotion of access to drug dependence treatment, care services and HIV prevention for drug users.

“As minister responsible for this beloved Dominica, I subscribe to this theory and I want to pledge my government’s commitment to ensuring that there is a balance between efforts to control supply and demand. I am of the firm view that unless the demand for illicit drugs is reduced, the fight against cultivation, promotion and trafficking will be harder,” he said.

The theme for Drug Awareness Month is “A Message of Hope: Drug use disorders are preventable and treatable.”

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15 Comments

  1. philme
    January 6, 2015

    yep this is so true too much of it in Dominica there are so many young people drinking alcohol

  2. Winston Stoute
    January 6, 2015

    I don’t think the government is ready to address alcohol abuse since it is one of the biggest revenue generating industry in the country. Yet it is the reason why high blood pressure and diabetes are so rampant in the island.

  3. derp
    January 6, 2015

    I am of the firm view that unless the demand for illicit drugs is reduced, the fight against cultivation, promotion and trafficking will be harder,” Well you know there is this ‘drug’ which they criminalize and prosecute people for… maybe they should change some laws, and regulate it, this will bring down the demand in the long wrong no?

  4. Pedro
    January 6, 2015

    Good point Mr minister. We all have to join hands in solutions to these problems. We also have to facilitate and promote alternatives. For example Idle, unemployed or unsupervised youth can easily lead to consumption of drugs and alcohol.

  5. January 6, 2015

    you have to start in tesavanne with the local rum and with your friends that are drug dealers :evil:

  6. NRT
    January 6, 2015

    There was no such epidemic when marijuana ‘used to be’ the herb of choice. There has always been a gohn ho attitude and focus towards eradication of marijuana, as if it is the drug problem, well…think again,,, that has never worked.

    The Dr has a great point on substance abuse. Despite conventional thinking, legalize marijuana. Particularly so that it is not solely available through the same routes as hard drugs, and you have half the battle won. there are many who use hard drugs because there is no smell associated, whereas marijuana use has the smell associated and police take the easy route of persecuting its users. But I suspect, as is the norm in D’a it will be business as usual, persecuting marijuana users. mark my words. I do hope there is support to lower the use of coke, crack and other hard drugs.

  7. Helas!!
    January 5, 2015

    Thanks mr. Minister , some of us are hypocrites!!!!

  8. January 5, 2015

    We have to cut the heads of the snakes. The drug dealers who is destroying our love ones. Everybody knows who they are, they are nothing but criminals, and putting hardship on our fragile economy.. :twisted:

  9. lovely lady
    January 5, 2015

    Let me put it in single Dominican terms. Dem man fighting marijuana. These guys are not fighting drugs ask them how much money does the government how much money do they collect every on cigarette and alcohol taxation. Hundreds of thousands . they are not collecting any money from marijuana so what they do is give you a big fine at the court. The world is going marijuana these dangerous poisons need to be banned from our shelves to protect our children.

  10. lovely lady
    January 5, 2015

    Very funny Dr.Darroux. I know you know that the underlying cause of pple at the unit is STRESS in other words FRUSTRATION in other words DEPRESSION and any other name from this family that you chose to use. The invisible hand that rules d
    Dominica will keep feeding you the ignorant information so u can keep pleasing them whilst keeping you poor. In the meanwhile they are legalizing marijuana and getting wealthy. When will my sweet Dominica become independent and realize that thats the only way to get out of our mess? SMH……let me ask u a question Dr.Darroux…..over the last 10 years how many people got hit or killed by a HIGH on weed driver. U did not say anything about marijuana here but we need to EDUCATE ourselves on marijuana for we are very ignorant about this herb. But who am I kidding as long as people are still going to these churches and even putting their money in there lol we won’t b ready to fix things.

  11. Its my damn business
    January 5, 2015

    Dr. Daroux to better understand this dilemma it would make much sense to break down this 70% to age group and educational background. For example, how many between the ages of 15-25, 26-40 etc., and whether they attended high school/ college. The situation in Dominica is very depressing. When young people are out of school and cannot find a job and cannot plan a future outside of the red clinic , they are in very deep water. So to help them deal with their oppression and depression they turn to drugs/alcohol which will eventually do them more harm than good. We just had a chance to stop all these but those who were able to run from Dominica came back to give us five more years. Dr. Darroux, if you really want to see what drugs have done to our young people, I encourage you to spend one day in the village of Vielle Case, the home of the Prime Minister. I mean the young men have totally given up on a future and Skerrit cannot do and will not do anything to try to help them. What a shame

  12. January 5, 2015

    the so call fight against drugs & drugs prevention is a mockery in of itself and a farce.it is a deception. we all know that drug & the the drug trade is a monster demon ,but is lucrative that is why it is alledged that some who are prominent among us do invest heavily into it. it brings wealth overnight and it corrupting influence permeates the society. how many drug king pins do we have in jail how many can we recall who was sent to prison? we all know that it is the small time drug pusher & user who are sent to jail. untill lady justice really becomes blind in this land it will be only fight against drugs my foot.

  13. anonymous2
    January 5, 2015

    And alcohol is at the top of the list. There needs to be a program for all of the alcoholics that think that they aren’t alcoholics. And yes, alcohol is considered to be a drug under the definition.

    • Osanna Mowanga
      January 5, 2015

      check within your rank and file too.

    • faceup
      January 6, 2015

      Yes anything that alters the mind is a drug, They need to implement a Twelve Step program for addicts, as well as Alcohol Anonymous Narcotics Anonymous meetings..

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