Alcohol abused amongst Jamaica Teens

A survey by the National Council on
Drug Abuse shows that alcohol remained the most abused substance among students
in Jamaica.

A staggering 70.4 per cent of the
more than 4,500 students surveyed admitted to imbibing alcohol.

The report also noted that alcohol
had attracted the highest per cent of new users within the last 30 days.

In addition, the national school
survey stated that aggressive advertising in the alcohol market linked to
frequent promotions and societal acceptance may contribute to such increases.

It also called for a public education
campaign designed to de-moralise and deglamourise alcohol drinking.

Dr Ellen Campbell-Grizzle, director
of information and research at the National Council on Drug Abuse said it was
considered a socially acceptable form of recreation. She argued that even
though alcohol is not deemed a gateway substance to harder drugs, it is part of
a complex of drug use that is worrying.

As a result, the NCDA has embarked
on a poster campaign featuring former 100-metre world record holder Asafa
Powell and Olympic silver medallist Sherone Simpson.

In the meantime, the Office of the
Children’s Registry has reported that between 2007 and 2009 it received 172
reports of substance abuse, covering alcohol, cigarettes and marijuana. The
registry received 44 reports up to the end of March this year.