State minister calls for push to control substance abuse

Saturday, February 17, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — State Minister in the Ministry of National Security, Senator Pearnel Charles Jr says there must be an unyielding push to control substance abuse.

Commenting on the National Council on Drug Abuse (NCDA) 2016 Household Drug Survey, which indicated that one in every six males and one in every 17 females admitted to driving under the influence of alcohol and illegal drugs over the past year, the State Minister said this behaviour is a negative factor on the roads.

“No surprise when we look at the data on the number of road fatalities and instances of dangerous driving,” Senator Charles Jr said while addressing a drug forum organised by the NCDA on February 13 at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston.

The state minister said the issue not only affects the individuals abusing the drugs but other areas of national life, and work must continue to show the cost to the country from substance abuse.

“The more preventative work we put in increases the chances of successfully reducing the current burden on our criminal justice system and the required resources, which we would prefer to channel into far more productive and positive endeavours,” the state minister told the audience.

Charles Jr said he believes in the power of partnership and collaboration to tackle the many challenges faced by the society.

The forum was used to release findings from a 2017 study on drug use, conducted with technical assistance from the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission of the Organization of American States (CICAD-OAS).

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