Multisectoral approach key to battling drug abuse – Min. Lawrence

DPI, Guyana, Monday, September 10, 2018

Minister of Public Health, Volda Lawrence said a multisectoral approach has been adopted to put a handle on the challenges of drug use and abuse. The minister noted that a singular approach would not be as effective to address the situation.

Minister of Public Health, Volda Lawrence

The minister was speaking at the recent launch of the Guyana Drug Information Network (DIN) report for 2017 at the Georgetown Club.

According to Minister Lawrence, a number of organisations have either been assisting with drug policy matters or lending support to the implementation of the National Drug Strategy Master Plan 2016-2020. These include the National Anti-Narcotics Agency (NANA) which was established in October 2017, the Guyana Drug Information Network (GUYDIN) as well as Non-Governmental Organisations Phoenix Recovery Project and the Salvation Army.

Minister Lawrence said the Health Ministry has committed itself to increase access to drug treatment across the country by training more professionals in the field.

“Of importance is the provision of drug treatment services by trained professionals for women. This service is provided only by the Phoenix Recovery Project and the annual statistics reveal that this female facility operates at maximum capacity,” the minister told stakeholders. 

Further, she said several initiatives were undertaken by the National Drug Strategy which focuses on advancing drug prevention and awareness at a national level with a specific focus on the youth population.

Studies such as the 2013 drug use among secondary school students have shown that the youths have become desensitised to the risks associated with substance use, Minister Lawrence said.

Alexis Rodney

Image: Department of Public Information

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