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Alcohol, ganja and tobacco main drugs abused by J'cans — NCDA

Thursday, June 21, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — The National Council on Drug Abuse (NCDA) has reported that alcohol, ganja and tobacco are the main substances being abused by adults and youth in Jamaica.

The NCDA said it is now intensifying efforts to reduce substance abuse among young people, particularly children.

Research Analyst at the NCDA, Uki Atkinson, said that while the overall trend in relation to drug use in Jamaica is showing a slight decrease over the last few years, “we are still concerned about the early introduction of varying substances to minors”.

“What we want to achieve is a shift in that culture, as it is proven that the risk of harm is greater in less mature individuals,” she pointed out.

She noted, however, that there are concerns about non-traditional methods as well as new substances being utilised.

She informed that over the past several months, the NCDA has been receiving reports of a special concoction called 'lean'being utilised among students.

Lean is comprised of prescription strength cough syrup containing codeine, carbonated beverage and candy that is ingested orally in an effort to achieve a form of intoxication or high.

Kirlew also pointed out that the matter of embalming fluid being mixed with marijuana in an effort to intensify the effects is also something that is on the radar.

“Conversations with medical professionals have shown that the types of reactions being reported suggest that there has to be some other form of chemical being utilised in conjunction with the fluid to achieve those effects,” she said.

She informed that the agency is still making checks to ascertain the components of the substances being used.

She said that it is not desirable for any individual to abuse substances, but noted that it becomes even more alarming when it is being done by children.

“It is for this reason that we encourage parents, guardians and any other custodians to maintain a high level of vigilance as it relates to children, and have dialogue with them on a regular basis to prevent their involvement in drug use or any other illicit activity,” appealed Atkinson.

Jamaica will observe International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking on June 26 under the theme 'Don't Die for a High: #Stay Drug-Free'.

The NCDA, in a collaborative effort with the Ministry of National Security, will undertake a numberof public-awareness activities in observance of the day.

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