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Saint Lucians warned to abstain from substance abuse

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Contact: Shannon Lebourne


Monday,  June 29, 2009 Saint Lucians, particularly young people, are being urged to abstain from the abuse of substances, as the issue continues to be a major problem in Saint Lucia.


The call has come from Chief Medical Officer Dr Josiah Rambally, who spoke at the opening of a National Anti-Drug Exhibition, organised by the Substance Abuse Advisory Council Secretariat (SAACS) recently.


Dr. Rambally added that substance abuse in many forms, is paralysing the development of Saint Lucia, and that urgent intervention from all sectors is needed to address the problem.


“We have people who are confined to prison just because they took theses substances and claimed the life of someone; now they are in Bordelais. Also at the mental hospital we have lots of young people coming in and out because of substance abuse. We are very happy for the awareness today, so that we can work together against this problem that's affecting our youth and causing untold heartaches and broken homes in our country,” said the CMO.


The exhibition, which began in Castries, will be taken around the island to raise awareness of the problems associated with substance abuse and to encourage people to live healthy and drug free lives.  The initiative was lauded by the Australian Ambassador to Saint Lucia His Excellency Philip Kentwell, who declared the roving exhibition officially opened.


“The scourge of drugs across all societies is one that is increasingly debilitating and affecting the lives of many families, who are either on the edge or directly involved in the problems of drug abuse. I think this initiative, which will be taken around the country, is a good idea. I wish to commend all those who are involved, and I wish the travelling exhibition good luck,” said the Australian Ambassador.


The National exhibition is being supported by several social partners including the Drug Squad of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force, the Planned Parenthood Association and the National Aids Programme Secretariat.

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