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(FP)

Barbados should soon have in place a National Anti-Drug plan outlining the policies and programmes to be adopted and pursued by various agencies in their respective areas of drug control.

Word of this has come from the National Council on Substance Abuse’s Deputy Manager Betty Hunte, who said the Council, in conjunction with the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) of the Organisation of American States (OAS), will host a Consultation of National Stakeholders to articulate a way forward in terms of a National Anti-Drug plan for this country.

Home Affairs Minister, Adriel Brathwaite will address the opening ceremony of the two-day consultation which is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, March 13 beginning at 9:00 a.m. and will continue on Thursday, March 14, at the Amaryllis Hotel, Hastings, Christ Church.

According to the Deputy Manager: "The Barbados National Anti-Drug Plan (BNADP) 2013-17 is an integrated solution to the problem of substance use and abuse in Barbados.?? This five-year strategy encompasses both "Demand Reduction" and "Supply Reduction" through the priority areas of Prevention, Treatment and Rehabilitation, Research and Diagnosis, Anti-Money Laundering, Law Enforcement, and Chemical Precursor Control."

She explained that the BNADP will inform the overall National Development Strategy in relation to substance abuse, by defining priorities and goals, assigning responsibilities, and identifying the economic resources required to achieve the goals and assess performance.??

"This National Anti-Drug Strategy will be the blueprint for Barbados’ response to the misuse and abuse of both illicit and legal drugs, including alcohol, tobacco and prescription drugs.?? It will be designed to meet the goals as documented in the Hemispheric Drug Strategy of the OAS," she clarified.

Mrs. Hunte further stressed that the misuse of drugs and other substances is not only a problem that affects the abuser, but also touches every aspect of society and the economy, including health care, family life, law enforcement and employment. She added: "It is, therefore, critical that there is a national commitment to comprehensively address issues related to drug abuse control in Barbados."

In detailing Barbados’ national drug policy, the Plan will define priorities, project costs and allocate responsibilities for all drug control efforts.?? It is anticipated that this anti-drug strategy will reflect a fair balance of resources dedicated to activities designed to reduce the supply of drugs (interdiction and law enforcement) and the demand for drugs (prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and research).

theresa.blackman@barbados.gov.bb??

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