Director of Family and Social Services Feona Charles-Richards is calling for there to be a preventative approach toward substance abuse as opposed to a reactive one.
For several months there have been reports that substance abuse especially among the youth is on the rise.
In response to that observation made by several health and education officials, Charles-Richards says to address this issue, the focus needs to be on prevention rather than treatment.
“I feel as if we have denied the challenges that are happening in terms of a lot of our young people utilizing substances and the level at which they are utilizing these substances.
I think we have ignored that I think we always wait until it had catastrophized to engage services and I find our focus has always been treatment as opposed to prevention.”
She added that programs are in place at the primary school level to engage students there on the topic of substance abuse and prevention, and her department is now working to expand that program to students at secondary schools.