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1st Ever National Drug Use & Abuse Study Underway

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Contact: John Emmanuel

Wednesday, November 06, 2002 - The Substance Abuse Advisory Council Secretariat of the Ministry of Health, Human Services and Family Affairs in collaboration with Total Environment Assessment and Management Solutions (TEAMS) Inc., has begun carrying out a quantitative and qualitative drug use and abuse study in St. Lucia. The October 2002 to January 2003 activity is being funded by the European Union (EU) and will provide scientific derived data on the use and abuse of drugs and alcohol on the island.

The exercise is seen as timely, since the availability of current statistics and information is of critical importance for the formulation of policy and programmes by appropriate authorities. The study will attempt to examine the patterns of drug use and abuse, identify and assess current interventions and their relevancy and effectiveness in reducing drug and alcohol consumption and abuse. It will also attempt to develop a mechanism to monitor drug use on the island, review treatment and rehabilitation procedures and identify best care practices for drug users.

The study will culminate with a media conference that will bring together stakeholders for dialogue and dissemination of critical information. This will include a multi-media presentation and statements from technical officers in related institutions and government department. Representatives of civil society will be invited to participate in the discussions that will inform the many issues relating to drug use and abuse in St. Lucia.


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