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Committee set up to prevent alcoholism and drug dependency

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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. Wilson said.

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 Nation concern.


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