Government is raising the alarm after finding proof methamphetamines are in Barbados.
During a media briefing with members of the Early Warning System at the Ministry of Home Affairs, Webster Business Park, Wildey, St Michael, Minister of Home Affairs Wilfred Abrahams said they would be tackling the issue head on.
“For too long we have been sharing anecdotal stories of the type of drugs which potentially exist on island, in fact, it is only those instances which come before the law courts that indicate the presence of such. However, I will get straight to the point to confirm that the Government Forensic Science Centre has carried out scientific testing and can confirm the presence of methamphetamine on island,” Abrahams said.
“As Minister of Home Affairs and Information, it is incumbent on me to use fora like this to speak to changes in our local drug situation, when highlighted by the NCSA – an agency which falls under my Ministry. The discovery of methamphetamine on island is of great concern and we intend to confront this challenge head on,” he said.
The Early Warning System is a mechanism chaired by the National Council on Substance Abuse (NCSA) which is designed to detect, test and distribute information on new psychoactive substances which may pose a threat to public health.
The briefing included the NCSA, the Forensic Services Centre, the Barbados Police Service and the Psychiatric Hospital.
Abrahams said methamphetamines, also known as meth, were a dangerous drug and they were on full alert to inform the public about it.
“Methamphetamine use goes way beyond its devastating effects on individual health, [it also] threatens whole communities, causing new waves of crime, unemployment, child neglect or abuse, and other social ills.
“To wrestle this problem to the ground it must not be seen as not only as the responsibility of government but as a societal problem. Therefore, the government’s response will be inclusive of the government, the private sector, civil society and the family,” he said.
The minister said a series of public service announcements were being readied and he also urged the public to report any suspected use of the drug, as he said failure to do so may end up with the person involved in taking it losing their life. (CA)