Concern mounts over increase in drug abuse cases

Officials say substance abuse is an underlying factor in many disturbing behavioral patterns exhibited by students.

The Ministry of Education has sought government’s approval via funding from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), for the establishment of a drug awareness and education program.

The Education Quality Improvement Project (EQUIP), will target primary and secondary school students in order to help curb a noted increase in the number of substance abuse cases among the island’s school-aged population.

Officials say substance abuse is an underlying factor in many disturbing behavioral patterns exhibited by students.

“There are many instances where we have had to refer children with behaviors which we consider to be out of the ordinary, to the drug rehabilitation program at the Turning Point Rehabilitation Centre,” Chief Education Officer, Marcus Edward, said.

“It is not just secondary school students that are presenting with those problems. We are seeing the manifestation of drug use even at the primary school level.”

Joanna Joseph, Director of the Turning Point Rehabilitation Centre called on parents to pay closer attention to their children’s behaviors and academic performances.

“With the young ones we find parents tend not to believe. Signs like red eyes, frequent headaches, the smell sometimes of marijuana, declining grades, and personality changes are really, really important,” she stressed.

“Sometimes you wonder why there is so much violence among our young people. It could very well be related to substance abuse. No longer do we see students come in with just minor problems of marijuana. Most of the students who came to us last year had to be admitted residentially because the addiction was so serious that they were not able to stop on their own.”

Ms. Joseph said parents need to be vigilant, and they need to support the Ministry of Education in its fight to ensure that children come to school free from the effects of substance abuse.

While the Turning Point Rehabilitation Centre has played a critical role in rehabilitating many students, substance abuse is one that the education sector is also working hard to address.

“When children exhibit negative behaviors in schools we don’t have the capacity to be able to calm and to treat those children under the influence of drugs,” Mr. Edward said.

Consequently, the Ministry of Education is actively seeking to establish drug prevention and education programs that target both students and parents.


  1. Anonymous
    March 6, 2017 at 7:01 am

    only NOW copping on. Wake up

    1. Anonymous
      March 6, 2017 at 7:10 am

      You people so on fair

  2. Sad-But-True
    March 6, 2017 at 8:32 am

    An Evil Chastanet administration will cause will cause drugs to ravage the youth.
    No laptops. They deliberately demotivated the students by not continuing this initiative. They destroy everything good while not building anything. They are looters by Nature. Guy Joseph is a laughing Injun uwp looter.

    1. Anonymous
      March 13, 2017 at 4:38 pm

      Check the history

  3. Anon1
    March 6, 2017 at 9:45 am

    And what is being done about the substance which is the LEADING (bar murder) cause of deaths and not to mention domestic violence!

    Yes folks it’s “The Spirit of St Lucia” RHUM

    The STUPITY is unreal…..

  4. Mark Philogene
    March 6, 2017 at 9:55 am

    There is nö way smoking grass makes you agresive,not like Alkohol.I,ve seen Govemment workers driving Govemment Transport under the influence of Alkohol . Almost Every St.Lucian drink and Drive.Natrual Herb cannot harm no one. Drinking and Driving KILLS….

  5. Pastor Aristide
    April 16, 2017 at 3:58 am

    No drug no alcohol during driving

Two killed in Castries car crashRead
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