Drug, psychiatric link a concern
MORE THAN A THIRD of people who have been admitted to the Psychiatric Hospital with disorders have a history of drug use.
National Council of Substance Abuse (NCSA) research officer Jonathan Yearwood made the announcement on Saturday during one of the organisation’s outreach programmes at the Princess Alice Terminal, The City.
Referring to the most recent Barbados Drug Information Network data of 2016, Yearwood said 36 per cent of the patients were admitted due to psychiatric disorders and drug use, noting that they were all between the ages of 20 and 24.
Similarly, teenagers, some of whom started using marijuana as early as age nine, had behavioural problems at school or became involved in criminal activity.
“Males seem to be the dominant gender coming into contact with the criminal justice system having problems with substance use,” he said. “Men under 30 start to experiment with these drugs from 13 to 15.”
Yearwood said that there was a five per cent increase in marijuana and other substance usage in secondary schools and that had jumped from 17 to 22 per cent within the past decade.
“What we saw is that this 13 to 15 age group happened to be among the persons suspended for drug use and behavioural problems at school. And from evidence, we know that males who use this drug early and persistently will develop problems over time with coping skills and being able to learn. So they drop out of school more likely than a person who doesn’t use the substance.” (SB)
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