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Friday, January 21, 2005 - St. Lucia is now a part of the Caribbean Committee for the Prevention of Alcoholism and Drug Dependency (CCPADD), with the launching Wednesday, January 19 of a local chapter. The activity which took place at the Green Parrot Hotel incorporates the island in the activities and programmes of the International Commission for the Prevention of Alcoholism and Drug Dependency (ICPA), in the promotion of a healthy lifestyle in the region.

At a Health Summit Conference in Antigua last year, the ICPA gave a mandate for the region to take hold and help reverse the repercussions of a rising drug problem in the Caribbean, through the establishment of a Caribbean Charter. President of the National Committee for the Prevention of Alcoholism and Drug Dependency, Clement Charles said since then National Committees have sprung up in all Caribbean territories.

“It is indeed an opportunity and a great moment that NCPADD with all other part takers or stakeholders within the whole thrust of St. Lucia who seek to help reduce the abuse of licit substances, whether they be alcohol or other substance and also to fight against illicit substance in helping our country to remain healthy and beautiful,” Mr. Charles said.

Director of the ICPA, Dr. Peter Landless said the organization was happy to network with other organizations with the common goal of keeping society drug free. However, he also lamented the fact that legal substances like alcohol and tobacco have been forgotten in the whole debate over drug abuse.

“Alcohol”, he said, “gets forgotten because it is legal; tobacco is legal and yet the effects are so deleterious. The statistics tell us that five million people die every year. From tobacco related causes. Five million every year!”

The Caribbean Committee for the Prevention of Alcoholism and Drug Dependency has, in the meantime made a plea for St. Lucia to speed up the process that will enable it to ratify the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. Mr. Victor Roach said the country, as a result will, among other things be in a position to put legislation in place that will ban smoking in public buildings and work places.


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