National Council on Substance Abuse urges for parents to make sure it’s a Drug Free Summer

The National Council on Substance Abuse is encouraging parents to pay more attention to the activities of their children at all times and especially during the summer vacation.

The Council's Deputy Manager Mr.<strong> Troy Wickham</strong>, addressing children attending the Prevention First Club seminar held last Friday, 9th July 2021 expressed concern with the activities of the youth during summer. (<em>Image via</em>:<strong> B'ds. Advocate</strong>)

The Council’s Deputy Manager Mr. Troy Wickham, addressing children attending the Prevention First Club seminar held last Friday, 9th July 2021 expressed concern with the activities of the youth during summer. (Image via: B’ds. Advocate)

He said the one-day seminar which was held at Horatio Cooke Auditorium, National Union of Public Workers, Dalkeith Road, St Michael targeted was timely and important.

“At the Council, we are well aware that you will need to be drug-free and healthy to learn at school, play a sport, and enjoy time with your family and friends. That is why it is important for you to absorb as much information and drug-refusal skills you will learn here today, this will help you to choose to live drug-free lives,” he said.

Reflecting on the NCSA’s National Primary School Survey, (2020), he informed those present that 56.2% of the Primary School children admitted to using a drug at some point of time in their lifetime.. The main drug used was alcohol followed by energy drinks (caffeine). In expressing the council’s concern, he said that figure is still too high, and it calls for all to protect the nation’s children.

Additionally, the Council, along with international bodies, is looking to increase awareness about gaming addiction. We are concerned with the number of hours that young persons like yourself spend playing online games,” he lamented.

He advised parents to look for some signs of possible online addictions including where children think about gaming a lot or all the time, feel bad when they cannot play, not wanting to do things they liked to do before and using gaming to ease bad moods and feelings.

Also addressing the youth were Mr. Imran Richards who facilitated a session on “Conflict Resolution – Peace is the Answer”, Mrs. Kerriann Hurley who spoke to Puberty and Mrs. Makeada Bourne and Mrs. Wendy Greenidge, Programme Officers of the Council who addressed issues as it relating to tobacco and alcohol.

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