As the National Council on Substance Abuse (NCSA) continues to spearhead the fight in sensitising and informing Barbadians about the harmful effects of substance abuse, that organisation will hold a Health Fair and Drug Take-Back drive on Saturday, January 19, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., in Jubilee Gardens, The City.

According to co-ordinator of the event, Jennifer Baptiste, the drug take-back is an initiative aimed at reducing the abuse of Over-The-Counter (OTC) and prescription medication.

"Over the counter and prescription medications can be easily abused because they are accessible and relatively cheap. These drugs often remain in our homes for months or even years and can pose significant health hazards to toddlers, teens, the elderly and even family pets.?? Some medications are so potent that even one dose could be fatal if accidentally ingested," she clarified.

Explaining that there was a misconception that abusing OTC and prescribed medications was safer than abusing illicit drugs, such as marijuana and cocaine, because they have been prescribed by a medical practitioner, Ms. Baptiste pointed out that they are only safe for the patient for whom they were prescribed, as the doctor has examined him/her and prescribed the correct dosage required to treat a specific medical condition.

She further emphasised: "We are encouraging members of the public to bring their unused or expired medications to this event for safe disposal.?? We are also requesting that persons remove any personal information from boxes or vials before disposal of the medication."

In relation to the health fair there will be condom demonstrations by CARE Barbados; HIV Testing and Counselling, breast screening (male and female) by the Barbados Cancer Society; literature to be disseminated by the National Committee for the Prevention of Alcoholism and Drug Dependency;?? pressure and cholesterol checks as well as face, hand and feet massages.??


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