NCSA sees an increase in clients for Counselling Programme
The National Council on Substance Abuse (NCSA) has seen a slight increase in the number of people reaching out for counselling. During the month of March 2021 alone 37 counselling sessions were scheduled.
Their clientele range in age from 13 to 71 and presented with substance use issues, emotional and behavioural issues.
With Barbados still being impacted by the Covid-19 Pandemic and associated social changes and challenges, it now requires a renewed focus of our counselling outreach because of the impact on mental health and coping strategies.
In addition, government recently introduced legislation amending the Drug Abuse and Control Act which allows for personal possession of a small amount of cannabis without penalty of incarceration, however this amendment mandates that persons under the age of 18 be sent to the NCSA for counseling and provides for persons over the age of 18 to also be required to attend counselling sessions at the NCSA, if there is reason to believe that the person is addicted.
We have and will continue to fulfil requests by workplaces to speak to their staff about the effects of drug use, while the counsellor has facilitated presentations via traditional media, as well as through online platforms to educational institutions.