Wednesday, August 10, 2022

NCPADD Supports World Drug Free Day

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June 26 is World Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Trafficking. The theme for 2022, as designated by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is ‘Addressing drug challenges in health and humanitarian crises’.
The illicit drug trade, stretched across the shores of all countries, continues to be an increasingly costly challenge to societies in areas of national health and security.
National expenditures are being strained to meet the exorbitant impact of drug use and abuse along with the rising crime wave spiraled through established gangs and cartels.
Already scarce resources that should be assigned to areas for national educational, technological, infrastructural, social and economic development, must be reallocated to crime prevention and detection measures and health.
In more recent times, global crises of the coronavirus (COVID) pandemic, war in Ukraine, mass migration of refugees and ever increasing violence throughout, have made addressing the drug challenge even more difficult.
The focus of World Drug Day 2022 is to seek to address transnational drug challenges stemming from situations of crisis. St. Lucia has not been shielded or immune to the drug and violence challenge. It appears evident, with the increasing gun and gang-related violence, that the illicit trade is at the center of the stage.
Notwithstanding, the negative impact of the abuse of legal drugs and substances (such as over-the-counter medicines, salt, sugar, processed foods) cannot be excluded or ignored. Domestic violence, economic deprivation, mental health and issues of preventable non-communicable diseases, all possible outcomes of drug and substance abuse, plague our local society as well.
Given our current times, there is a  greater need to strengthen awareness and sensitize our local populace of the far-reaching harmful tentacles of wrongful use, overuse and abuse of substances, irrespective of their legal status.
For this reason, the National Committee for the Prevention of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (NCPADD) seeks to support the UN recognition such thematic days like World No Tobacco day  in May and  Today, June 26th, as International day against Drug Abuse and  Illicit drug Trafficking  as well as to  guide St. Lucians towards temperance and healthy lifestyle practices in all areas.
September 14, 2021 marked for St. Lucia the legalization and therefore the decriminalization of the possession and use of small quantities of cannabis (marijuana), up to 30g.
Though the initial legislative guidelines and regulatory procedures allow possession for personal and/or medicinal use, there is a broader focus on sale and exportation.
The legalization of cannabis certainly has many implications including increasing numbers of users, easier access for children and teenagers, and increased smoking in private and public spaces.
What continues to remain unchanged is that smoke and smoking is harmful to the lungs, heart and brain development. The smoke in cannabis has similar toxins to tobacco smoke.
It is important to note that cannabis contains tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound responsible for the cannabis “high” which causes addiction, mental illness such as schizophrenia, and other health and social problems. Tests have shown high levels of THC in infants exposed to secondhand marijuana smoke.
NCPADD also encourages consumers to choose healthy, natural foods over those laden with salt, sugars, fats, artificial colors and preservatives and  NCPADD highly recommends positive engagement in healthy lifestyle practices such as using medicines as recommended by your medical professional or as stated on the packaging, be informed of the potential risks of consumables, make wise choices, and apply the principles of ‘use in moderation’.
Let us all continue to take care of ourselves and advocate for those who are most vulnerable.
Source: National Committee for the Prevention of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse
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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Our Editorial Staff at St. Lucia Times is a team publishing news and other articles to over 200,000 regular monthly readers in Saint Lucia and in over 150 other countries worldwide.

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