National Council on Drug Abuse Prevention holds discussions

St. Kitts-Nevis National Council on Drug Abuse Prevention Secretariat — The National Council on Drug Abuse Prevention met in Nevis on Wednesday 19th July, 2017, for their regular meeting. The meeting was held at the Nevis Administration building and was chaired by Vice Chairman of the Council, Mr. Michael Morton. At that Council meeting, the members have committed to informing the general public of the plans and activities to reduce the misuse and abuse of substances.

Some of the activities for the past few months were presented by the Executive Secretary of the Council who is also the Director of the Council’s Secretariat, Ms. Karimu Byron. The Secretariat in January of this year softly launched the Drug Information Network. The St. Kitts-Nevis Drug Information Network is the mechanism through which the Council will collect, analyze and disseminate information on drugs and related information.

The purpose of this mechanism is to monitor trends that will help to develop targeted policies and implement appropriate programmes and responses. An annual report will be published within the first quarter of the following year.

In addition to data collection, the National Drug Council is excited about the upcoming activities of its partner group the Drug Prevention and Treatment Services (DPATS) Inc. The DPATS Inc. is expected to begin community outreach activities in the third and fourth quarter of 2017. The first activity of DPATS is to facilitate psycho-educational programmes at the Mental Health Day Treatment Centre. A quality standard drug prevention programme was developed and submitted to Ministry of Health and the Mental Health Day Treatment Centre by the National Drug Council Secretariat. DPATS Specialists that comprise of Certified Drug Prevention Specialists and Drug Treatment Specialists will facilitate the group sessions at the Mental Health Day Treatment Centre.

The Council is also making every effort to reach as many persons as possible, not only within the community but also within schools, work places and health facilities to ensure all are well educated about the effects of drugs and alcohol on the mind and body and its effect on our society.

The Council is also committed to assisting institutions with drug prevention initiatives. As part of its commitment, the Council has assisted the Verchild’s High School with not only developing a quality standard drug prevention programme but also securing necessary resources to ensure the success of the programme.

In addition, St. Kitts and Nevis has been well represented on the international front at recent Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD), within the OAS by the Executive Secretary. St. Kitts and Nevis, through the Executive Secretary, is currently the Coordinator for one of the five core sections of the Hemispheric Drug Strategy 2017-2020. Moreover, in June of this year, Miss Byron, and Inspector Travis Rogers, who is also a member of the Council, represented the Federation at a Cooperation Programme between Latin America, the Caribbean States and the European Union on Drugs Policies (COPOLAD) in Buenos Aries, Argentina. At that meeting, the effective responses to the rising trends of the sale of drugs over the internet and synthetic drugs were discussed. Executive Secretary served as Chairperson for one of the sections. COPOLAD also held a workshop later in June in San Jose, Costa Rica. At the meeting in Costa Rica, best practices as it relates to alternative sentencing for drug related offences were discussed. The Executive Secretary served as group rapporteur and presenter.

The National Council on Drug Abuse Prevention falls under the Ministry of National Security and its members comprise of representatives from varying ministries, departments and organizations. The Chairman of the Council is Dr. Milton Whittaker. The National Council on Drug Abuse Prevention Secretariat is located on the third floor of the Treasury Building on Church Street. You can contact the Secretariat at 869-662-3938 or 869-466-7929. The email address is sknnacdap@gmail.com and can be found on Facebook.

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