Saturday 4 April, 2020

Marijuana still the drug of choice among Barbadians

Audience members at the NCSA office this morning for the presentation of the findings of a study compiled by The Barbados Drug Information Network (BARDIN)

Audience members at the NCSA office this morning for the presentation of the findings of a study compiled by The Barbados Drug Information Network (BARDIN)

The National Council on Substance Abuse (NCSA) says marijuana is the main drug for which students tested positive during a study compiled by The Barbados Drug Information Network (BARDIN) for the period 2011-2015.

The presentation of the findings was revealed this morning by the NCSA at their Belleville office.

NCSA Research Assistant, Laura Lee Foster, in presenting some of the findings, said persons between 18 and 35 accounted for the largest proportion of persons seeking treatment for marijuana at The Substance Abuse Foundation Inc. for that period while the majority of persons seeking treatment for crack cocaine were ages 36 and over.

“Seven hundred and twenty-three drug offences were recorded by The Royal Barbados Police Force in 2015 out of a total of 7,928 offences… and 182 persons were admitted to Her Majesty Prison Dodds for drug offences in 2015,” she reported.

Turning her attention to the Psychiatric Hospital, Foster said 178 persons sought substance abuse treatment at that facility during 2015 - 93% males and 7% females. The common drug used by those persons, she stated, was marijuana, cocaine (powder and crack), alcohol and cigarettes.

Of note was that the Psychiatric Hospital was seeing more and more people getting into the habit of using mixing drugs (polydrug use) and researchers said this can be harmful and pose challenges for drug treatment and drug education.

Meanwhile, Jonathan Yearwood, NCSA’s Research and Information Officer, in his presentation said there seems to be an emerging polydrug trend, especially seen in those seeking treatment at the Psychiatric Hospital. He said marijuana, alcohol and cocaine used independently and in combination were the main drugs motivating the demand for treatment.

From the findings, he said it is clear that there is a need for continued demand reduction intervention which focuses on marijuana, alcohol and cocaine.

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