Drug prevention workshops reaping success in Region 10’s mining communities

DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, July 10, 2018

The Ministry of Public Health through its Drug Awareness Reduction Services Unit is on a mission to reduce the level of substance abuse in outlying communities in the Upper Demerara-Berbice region.

Today, a four-day workshop on drug prevention and life skills was opened at the Coomacka Resource Centre. Over 30 participants from the neighbouring mining communities of Three Friends, Old England and Coomacka are attending.

Facilitating the programme is Health Improvement Advisor, Wayne Hunt and Health Education Officer Petal Gordon.

Hunt explained that the purpose of the workshop is to sensitise the residents on the effects of substance abuse whilst equipping them with life skills to make informed decisions on peer pressure and resisting negative influences. Drug abuse has been seen as an alarming social phenomenon in these mining communities. This has been largely credited to the communities’ isolation from mainstream Linden and the need for more social and educational programmes for youths within those areas. In this regard, the workshop also aims at equipping them with life skills which will enable them to be meaningfully occupied.

“We are giving them the tools where there can make informed choices in their life…so they can become productive adults. The majority of them are young people and their social environment will have an impact on them. Therefore, we are equipping them with the necessary skills, so that they can resist peer pressure and instead have a positive effect on their peers,” Hunt posited.

Participant, Gina Fredericks of Old England spoke of how similar workshops previously held, have benefited her community. She said there has been a decrease in drug abuse and teenage pregnancies. “I found that these workshops have been beneficial because whatever we taught at these meetings we then share with others in our communities,” Fredericks said.

The participants at today’s session pledged to again take up the mantle in sharing what they would have learnt with the rest of their respective communities so that it will an effect at the community level.

By: Vanessa Braithwaite.    

Image: Vanessa Braithwaite.