Barbados??? drug plan for 2015 to 2020 has been finalised, and is now before Cabinet for its consideration.
This was disclosed by Attorney General, Adriel Brathwaite, as he addressed the opening of a four-day national seminar on Illicit Drug Production, Synthetic Drugs and New Psychoactive Substances at the Crane Resort this morning.
???In formulating the drug plan, we would have a holistic approach to how we would treat legal and illegal substances and have one body that champions our overall legal framework,??? he explained.
He added that once Cabinet gave its approval, the plan would be implemented. ???We have not had a comprehensive plan in many years [and] we are a bit behind in terms of our commitment to CICAD (the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission),??? Mr. Brathwaite stated.
He explained that the drug plan, which was for five years, outlined the island???s overall framework, in terms of its response to the international best practices for legal and illegal substances.
The Attorney General pointed out that the handling of legal substances that could be converted to illegal substances was of particular concern.??As a result, he said it was a situation that required everyone to play their part. It is for that reason that police officers, postal workers, staff of the National Council on Substance Abuse, among others, are presently attending the course.
Mr. Brathwaite also stated that he firmly believed that as many people as possible should be trained in detecting the use of illegal substances, and in educating young people, particularly those who were more inclined to experiment.
Head of the Supply Reduction Section of CICAD, Ziggie Malyniwsky, said traditionally, the Caribbean focused on drugs such as cocaine, heroin, marijuana and alcohol. However, he said there needed to be a greater awareness of synthetic drugs like ecstasy and methamphetamine.
Organization of the American States??? Representative to Barbados, Francis McBarnette, also cautioned that synthetic drugs were among some of the most destructive drugs being used today, and often interfered with persons??? emotions, contributing to them having suicidal thoughts, among other issues.
He noted that the challenge for local authorities was to ???keep up to speed??? with the drugs being used and the various forms.??The national seminar is being coordinated by the Supply and Reduction section of CICAD.