Drug Abuse Prevention Convention

Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 February 2016 Published: Wednesday, 10 February 2016 Written by Zinielle Vital

On Wednesday 20th January, the class of 3-3, along with Mrs. Williams and Ms. Charles, represented the Convent High School at the annual convention highlighting the effects of drug abuse in Dominica held at the Roseau Public Library. The theme this year is “Let’s develop our lives, our communities, our identities without drugs”.

Ms. Leandra Cuffy, a representative of the Roseau Drug Abuse Prevention Unit expounded on the meaning of this theme. She explained that young people often put unnecessary pressure on themselves and make bad decisions and even sometimes turn to illegal drugs with false beliefs that there are no consequences. She warned that young students especially, should take care of their mental well-being as well as their physical health. Drugs should never be the answer, she told the students.  70% of the population of rehabilitated men in Dominica suffer from drug induced psychosis mainly due to smoking marijuana. Ms. Cuffy pointed out how many people are persuaded to smoke by being promised a free and peaceful feeling, but many of them end up on the streets as vagrants or with serious health issues. Marijuana, she informed, affects everyone else differently and no one knows how much it will take to destroy them.

 

Alcohol, although legal, is one of the most casually abused drugs in Dominica, and despite the ease at which it is obtained, one should be educated on the effects it may bring about if too much is consumed. Abuse of alcohol may lead to many undesirable outcomes, some being mental deterioration, tremors, hallucinations, cirrhosis of the liver, and impaired decision making.

After listening to the talk the students were led to a photographic display of the drugs and firearms which were explained in detail by Mr. Cade Shillingford. After this, the students were shown samples of the common drugs, and Officer Allyne Maximea pointed out to the students how most drug addicts start off small. They often begin with cigarettes, and as the addiction develops, they long for something more and get hooked on more dangerous drugs like cocaine.

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