EXECUTIVE COUNCIL ‘DISMAYED’ AT REPORT
ON DRUG PROBLEM
`Executive Council has expressed dismay at what is being reported as the increasing drug use problem amongst school age children.
The Ministers of Government and the Governor recently discussed a report from the National Drug Advisory Council (NDAC). Alcohol and marijuana were identified as the two controlled substances most frequently consumed. Alcohol outranked marijuana as the most common drug.
The ExCo meeting was attended by Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Welfare Ms. Eugenia O’Neal, Executive Director of the National Drug Advisory Council Mrs. Sandra Walters Malone and the Director of the Sandy Lane Drug Rehabilitation Centre Dr. Maris Hodge Wright. They were on hand to answer questions arising from the report and discuss drug use, drug awareness efforts and prevention measures in the territory.
“Unofficial surveys undertaken in the territory in the schools indicated that some students were being introduced to alcohol and marijuana by family members at home at a pre-adolescent age,” Chief Minister the Honourable Ralph T. O’Neal reported. The report noted that minors were allowed to buy and handle alcohol in most supermarkets and some rum shops.
“It was known that marijuana was being smoked at the BVI High School and that some students were involved in supplying drugs on campus,” Hon. O’Neal continued.
Executive Council accepted the Annual Report of the National Drug Advisory Council and advised that it be laid on the table of the Legislative Council at the next convenient sitting. It also advised that similar drugs surveys should be conducted at the Anegada and Bregado Flax Secondary Schools, that the legal age for the consumption of alcohol be enforced, that businesses be required to observe the legal for the use of alcohol and should not expose their under-age employees to alcohol nor should they sell alcoholic beverages to minors.
The NDAC and Sandy Lane have been mandated to begin work immediately to develop a long-term National Drug Awareness Campaign. NDAC’s Executive Director and the Director of Sandy Lane have been asked to prepare estimates of the additional funding required to undertake their respective work programmes. This should be submitted to the Minister of Finance via the Minister of Health and Welfare.
These two officials were also requested to attend the next meeting of top managers (government) to discuss the issues relating to drug awareness and the prevention measures required to be implemented.
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