Marijuana is still the drug of choice for users in Barbados among adolescents and adults.
This was among the findings contained in the 2015 Barbados Drug Information Network (BARDIN) Report, presented to stakeholders at the National Council on Substance Abuse (NCSA) recently.
In her address, Research Assistant at the NCSA, Laura Lee Foster, stated that of 723 drug offences recorded in 2015, 85.5 per cent were marijuana-related charges, 14.3 per cent for cocaine; and 0.2 per cent for methamphetamine. She noted that statistics gathered from drug treatment centres and HMP Dodds between January 1 and December 31, 2015, also showed evidence of marijuana being the preferred drug of choice.
Of the 51 persons treated at the Centre for Counselling Addiction Support Alternatives (CASA) in 2015, 60.8 per cent were for marijuana use; 13.7 per cent for alcohol; 15.7 per cent for polydrug use; and 9.8 per cent for non-drug related issues. The report also indicated that marijuana was also the main drug that caught the attention of officers of the Royal Barbados Police Force in terms of seizures and arrests.
NCSA Board Member, Mark Maynard, said that the report’s findings would be used to modify and further develop drug interventions for specific audiences. It would also assist, he explained, in developing policy, and linking interventions to a wider policy for drug-related problems. He emphasised the importance of the BARDIN report, noting that it enabled Barbados to better prepare for potential challenges.
“The BARDIN objectives are to provide current epidemiological and other information on the use and abuse of legal and illegal drugs; to provide information on efforts to reduce the supply of drugs; to identify trends in the consumption of new substances; and to inform policies and interventions on the use and abuse of narcotics,” Mr. Maynard explained.