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Parents Urged To Protect Children From Psychoactive Substances


Saint Lucia’s Substance Abuse Advisory Council Secretariat (SAACS) wants parents to play an active role in protecting their children from the harmful effects of psychoactive substances, illicit or otherwise.

Psychoactive substances, including drugs, affect how the brain works, causing changes in mood, awareness, thoughts, feelings, or behaviour.

SAACS Deputy Coordinator Wang Sonson underscored the need for parents to educate and protect their children.

“We don’t have the evidence to show that it is actually affecting our youths right now, but we know these substances have been found on island,” Sonson told St. Lucia Times.

The SAACS has been visiting schools to educate students on the harm psychoactive substances can cause.

He explained that substances with a level of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are the ones most common in Saint Lucia.

Sonson disclosed that they come in edibles, including packaged candies.

“We just want the parents and children alike to be alert for these substances,” the SAACC official stated.

Sonson revealed that his organisation had been visiting schools on request over the years.

However, he said a resilience programme is in place, enabling a holistic approach involving life skills and substance awareness.

“We had a meeting with the Ministry of Education last year to introduce the programme,” Sonson told St. Lucia Times, adding that the Ministry was very receptive.

“What we are doing now is working with the School Safety Officer to implement this programme in the schools,” he observed.

Sonson said the programme hopes to target students now entering secondary schools.

“So in the coming months, you will be hearing more about this programme and its impact in the schools,” he told St. Lucia Times.

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  1. Yet you’ll gave no examples of what those products are. So someone please tell me how we avoid them.

  2. @SuzieQ – please read the article again properly – “edibles including, packaged candies” and there’s even a photo!

    It is well researched and known that cannabis can cause psychosis in individuals if they start smoking in their adolescence, and alcohol can affect the growing brain. The combination of both is often the start of serious mental health issues in their twenties and can be lifelong if not treated appropriately. Even a small amount of Marijuana can trigger Psychosis later on.

    The Government and pro decriminalisation/legalisation bodies need to inform and warn people of this ie decriminalise/legalise cannabis only for people over 21. St Lucia and the Caribbean will see a dramatic decrease in mental illness over the next 15-20 years if a mandatory age is put in place. Mothers and fathers educate your children (especially sons) about this – be proactive! It’s not edibles or candies – It’s the underlying chemical substances which cause the problem…

  3. Sad but True..And can we put the cap back on the Toothpaste Tube?
    Folks it’s the kids Choice

  4. By all mean we need to address substance abuse issues – however, some children reside in homes where their own parents are drug abusers. Godspeed.


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