ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Two of the leading activists in the fight against drug and substance abuse prevention have expressed disgust with the attitude and behaviour of the young people who were in attendance at the Lots of Liquor (LOL) fete on Saturday night.
Substance Abuse Prevention Officer in the Drug Abuse Prevention Unit Norma Jeffery Dorsette and Head of the Drug Abuse Resistance Education Sergeant Timothy Drew, both said they were shocked and disturbed when they saw photographs and were told about the actions of the young individuals attending the pre-carnival event.
Dorsette, speaking on yesterday’s Big Issues programme, said that situations such as these show that a lot more needs to done to reduce the intake of substances and increase awareness about the negative effects that drugs and alcohol can have on individuals.
“When I see these young people, especially young girls in these situations, then I think anything can happen to them and they don’t even have a clue.”
The Substance Abuse Prevention Unit is a government entity that has primary responsibility for drug demand reduction in Antigua & Barbuda.
Sergeant Drew, on the other hand, called for a restriction on the age limit of persons attending these fetes.
The police officer said more attention should be placed on the youths in order to mould their future, especially against alcohol use.
“For alcohol use, prevention is better than cure. Once you become addicted it is difficult, almost impossible, to get someone to stop. However, it is easier to prevent someone from using it entirely,” Drew said.
Sergeant Drew, who heads the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) programme, hosts a number of classroom lessons that teach children from primary schools how to resist peer pressure and live productive, drug and violence-free lives.
Students from 11 schools across the island graduated from the programme last week.
The weekend fete, held at Splash Antigua at Millers by the Sea, saw performances from artiste such as Claudette “CP” Peters and the Taxik Band, Tanzania “Tizzy” Sebastian and El-a-Kru, Jashan and the Chezekake Factory, Ricardo Dru, the legendary Burning Flames, Dominica Triple K and Lil Rick from Barbados.
The fete allowed patrons to enter the event with their empty coolers or their coolers filled with drinks, which were mostly alcoholic beverages.
(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)