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Under-10 drug users a concern

Gercine Carter

Under-10 drug users a concern

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SOME Barbadian children under age ten are victims of substance abuse and Minister of Health John Boyce says it is critical that initiation of drug use among children and adolescents is prevented.

Boyce insists that blocking the introduction of drugs to children of such tender ages is key to stemming drug dependency in teens and adults.

Speaking at the official opening of Barbados’ first residential addiction treatment facility for women yesterday, the Boyce expressed particular concern about the age at which children were being introduced to drugs. He shared statistics from the Counselling Alternatives for Substance Abuse (a non-residential facility catering to a cross section of the population) which revealed that about four per cent of its clientele were under age ten; 49 per cent initiated drug use between ages 10 and 14 while 24 per cent first used drugs between ages 14 and 18.

“This is a troubling trend. This lower age of initiation also raises the likelihood of lifelong mental and physical problems for the user,” Boyce said.

Please read the full story in today’s Midweek Nation, or in the eNATION edition.