Monday, January 24, 2005 - The Ministry of Health has thrown its support
behind the creation of a National Committee for the Prevention of Alcoholism and
Drug Dependency (NCPADD), an affiliate of the International Committee for the
Prevention of Alcoholism and Drug Dependency, which was launched here last week.
NCPADD joins several other local organizations, which have the common goal of
promoting healthy lifestyles among the St. Lucian society, free of the use of
alcohol, tobacco and illicit substances.
Officer in charge of the Substance Abuse Secretariat attached to the Ministry of
Health, Elizabeth Serieux Wilson sees the emergence of such entities as an added
strength to the nation’s resolve in fighting the illicit drug trade and
promoting a healthy way of life.
“That means physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual - and we welcome
the opportunities for all NGOs and other government groups, who take all of it
into consideration and address it as a whole rather than as a segmented approach
that we have traditionally held towards health and towards development,” Mrs.
Mrs. Wilson stressed that in order to effectively deal with the issues of
substance abuse and how it is portrayed in society, its many faces must first be
recognized. She warned that while the Ministry of Health recognized and
supported the formation of such institutions, the importance of collaboration
with each other could not be over emphasized.
“It is absolutely delusional for any of us to believe that anyone organization
can independently address or solve any of these issues. So first of all, there
needs to be open lines of communication among all the different groups - NGOs
and Government groups that have been assigned a mandate or have taken upon
themselves the task to deal with drug abuse and all its related issues in our
society,” she said.
The National Committee for the Prevention of Alcoholism and Drug Dependency (NCPADD)
was launched last week under the theme – Alcoholism and Drug Dependency, A