The National Council on Substance Abuse (NCSA) received a much needed boost to its fight against drugs, thanks to a donation of equipment to support the operation of the Drug Treatment Court.

Chairman of the NCSA, Dale Callender, received the donation of computer hardware and software, multimedia equipment and urine testing kits on behalf of the agency from the United States Embassy through its International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Office (INL) recently.

Speaking during the ceremony, Mr. Callender said the NCSA was seeking to fully embrace the use of information technology and the internet in its continued fight against illicit drugs.

???I do believe that we have got to learn to be more receptive to training and sharing information as a means of keeping abreast of the dynamic changes in the challenges of drug abuse.

???One of the ways in which we can accomplish this is by establishing a systematic way of making available current drug prevention and drug-related information, which is relevant,??? he pointed out, adding the donation would make it a reality.

He stressed that the NCSA???s most important tool to responding to any threat was by constantly educating itself about the nature of that threat.

The Chairman added that the NCSA also remained committed to sharing its resources with partners such as the Centre for Counselling Addiction Support Alternatives (CASA) and Verdun House, both of whom were presented with some of the equipment.

Meanwhile, Minister of Home Affairs, Adriel Brathwaite, thanked the US for their support in Barbados??? drug challenge, noting that the present adolescent population was different from years gone by.??Therefore, he stressed, there was a need to adopt different approaches to engage them and for greater inter-agency collaboration.

Director of the INL Office, Drew Blakeney, lauded the work and activities of the NCSA, which he indicated had done an effective job in ensuring that more addictive drugs were kept off the streets of Barbados.??Pledging the continued support of the US government, Mr. Blakeney encouraged the agency to continue in its efforts to fight illegal drugs.

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