PRESS RELEASE – A SUBSTANCE abuse campaign aimed at raising awareness about the harmful effects of alcohol use has been unveiled by the Substance Abuse Unit of the Department of Health and Wellness.
The Substance Abuse Unit is working closely with the Traffic Unit of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force to educate Saint Lucians on the impact of alcohol on the family, community, schools, workplace, health care system and society as a whole.
Programme Officer in the Substance Abuse Unit Nadiege Smith says it is important that Saint Lucians are aware of the dangers and health effects of alcohol consumption.
According to Smith, “As we know, alcohol use is part of our culture, religious and social practices right here in St. Lucia and it provides some level of perceived pleasure to many users. This campaign has been designed to show the other side of alcohol, to show the harmful effects it can cause and the diseases it triggers. I am not sure how many people out there know that alcohol consumption is a risk factor in twenty five chronic diseases.”
Smith also emphasized the need to educate Saint Lucians about the risks associated with alcohol use, such as domestic violence and traffic incidents.
She said, “I really find that during carnival and Christmas and New Year’s, persons allow the children, teenagers to go ahead and have some fun you’re your friends and go out and they tend to consume alcohol during that time.
“We also have a problem with adults who go out to parties; they drink, drive and get behind that steering. This is one of the reasons why we bought the Traffic Unit on board to speak to us. We have a lot of intentional injuries where persons consume alcohol and when they go back home they get themselves in domestic violence issues.
“So, these are the things we really want to speak to persons about. We think it is vital that they get the information, because with that they are better able to make informed decisions.”
The Substance Abuse campaign started December 3 and will continue to December 14 and will entail multi-faceted communications strategies comprising television and radio talk shows and discussions at health clinics. (Department of Health)