Saint Lucia’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Sharon Belmar-George, has sounded the alarm that drug-laced candy is circulating in the school system here.
She spoke at a Saint Lucia Medical and Dental Association (SLMDA) awards ceremony at the Bay Gardens Hotel on Friday.
Belmar-George said the manufacture of new psychoactive substances and novel preparation of traditional drugs need to be under the public health and law enforcement radar as an emerging threat to health and security.
She recalled a consultation about two months ago with the new Substance Abuse Advisory Council Secretariat (SAACS) Director.
“A lot of what we did not know is happening within the school system,” Belmar-George disclosed.
Belmar-George told the awards ceremony she was surprised to see some of the products confiscated from school children.
“I thought the drugs in Saint Lucia were cannabis – I did not know we had reached the US levels of all of those psychoactive substances. I didn’t know it was here. Maybe I was very naive,” the Chief Medical Officer stated.
“But there are a lot of those psychoactive substances which are in the developed world that are really here,” Belmar-George revealed.
“We have already met with the Ministry of Education – we are collaborating with them on that. It’s the products that look like regular gummies and candies, the Skittles, and I mean, if I pick up the pack, I wouldn’t know,” she explained.
However, Belmar-George told the audience the package has a little cannabis leaf in one corner.
“These products are here, and they are being used and shared within our school system and the police have been confiscating them from school children,” the senior Health Ministry official noted.
She said the SAACS Director was assessing the problem, and a campaign targeting the main focus areas would follow.
“It looks like regular candy and they are laced with a whole set of different substances,” Belmar-George warned.
Headline photo: Internet stock image.