Drug abuse is a growing threat to the Caribbean Regions children and as a result its future. The Caribbean’s youth and adolescent have been identified as being most vulnerable to the growing problem of substance use and abuse. Data put forward by the Inter-American Drug Abuse Commission, CICAD, reveal that the average age of “first-use” of drugs is approximately age ten and in many instances as low as age seven.
A report presented to the Thirteenth Meeting of the CARICOM Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD) being held in Georgetown, Guyana, pointed out that alcohol, ganja and crack cocaine were the most frequently abused drugs, with cigarettes recording high usage among the adolescent and youth population. The report also stated that youth, particularly young males often associate drinking alcohol, and ganja smoking as a “rite of passage” rather than substance abuse. On the other hand, street children use drugs as a means of fighting hunger, danger and feelings of abandonment, the report said. While drug abuse cuts across all age groups, sex and social classes, its abuse has been found to be significantly higher in males than females. However, what the report describes as “transactional sex” by both male and female is often used to support the drug habit in some States.
Clubs should focus on the following.
- Building awareness in vulnerable groups, school and community regarding the issue
- Partnering with the National Parenting Support and National Organisation working with drug abuse ions to heighten awareness among parents of the dangers of drug abuse and support preventative and corrective actions
- Implement Lion Quest programme
- Stage a poster competition among schools = ‘saying no to drugs’
Clubs should partner with schools, parenting groups governmental and non-governmental agencies within their communities to pool resources and carry out meaningful projects for supporting work in preventing drug addiction and abuse.
All Clubs must report to MyLCI. Where possible reports should include figures that provide data to evaluate service impact along with photographs which convey a story.
Clubs will be acknowledged for completing 2 or more projects for this focus area.