Alcohol, marijuana use increase amongst youth
Mon, 03/28/2016 - 12:00am Barbados1
After alcohol, marijuana is now the second drug of choice amongst students who attended this island’s secondary schools.
This worrying trend was revealed by Drug Education Officer with the National Council on Substance Abuse (NCSA), Brian “Bumba” Payne who was referring to findings from the most recent NCSA Secondary Schools Survey. He added that there has been an upsurge in ganja use amongst secondary school pupils.
“We have a trend that is global that is also affecting Barbados which is the increasing use of marijuana and our latest Secondary Schools Survey shows clearly that both girls and boys are using more marijuana.”
He further stated, “We see success in the reducing rates of tobacco use but…the trend is that many young people believe that tobacco is harmful and unfortunately, many of them have a belief that marijuana is not harmful. So we have to dispel that myth because marijuana is also harmful, very harmful to the brain and different parts of the body.”
“It is also the drug highly associated with high levels of addiction, in that, most of the young people attending treatment in Barbados and many countries across the world are going for treatment because of marijuana addiction.”
Rise in alcohol use
Payne also shared that another trend found through the research “is an increasing use of alcohol among our females.” He stated, “We have to ensure that all of our young people understand that alcohol even though legal, it is also a dangerous drug and that a drug being legal or illegal has nothing to do with whether it is safe or not.”
He added that a full societal approach is necessary to change both trends.
“The message and the efforts cannot only rest on one or two agencies, it is a societal problem, it must be tackled in the home, in the school, in communities, the message must resonate that drugs are dangerous and that there is always healthy alternative activities.”