- The Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP) III, substance misuse treatment initiative, has been providing individuals with an avenue for change and a second chance at life.
- One such beneficiary is Nordia Anderson, who, after learning she was to become a mother, decided it was time to seek help to address her struggles with substance abuse.
- The then 18-year-old, was introduced to the programme, through which she had access to counsellors, community case management officers, social workers and psychologists.
The Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP) III, substance misuse treatment initiative, has been providing individuals with an avenue for change and a second chance at life.
One such beneficiary is Nordia Anderson, who, after learning she was to become a mother, decided it was time to seek help to address her struggles with substance abuse.
The then 18-year-old, was introduced to the programme, through which she had access to counsellors, community case management officers, social workers and psychologists.
The St Catherine resident tells JIS News, that her son motivated her to stay on the right path.
“I wanted to change and be a role model for him, so when the programme was introduced to me…I went ahead and got counselling and I was referred to the substance abuse teacher where she helped me tremendously,” she explains.
Ms. Anderson started smoking at the tender age of 15, as a coping mechanism for the various issues she was facing.
Through the programme, however, she has now developed healthy stress-relief habits.
“My substance abuse teacher showed me that smoking was just masking the stress [and] it didn’t [make it go] away. [So my teacher] recommended activities such as listening to music, talking to someone about the stress, relaxing and deep breathing as alternative techniques,” she notes.
The 20-year-old is now forging a new path for herself and her child.
“My dream is to be a housekeeper so when I learnt that I can get the chance to learn the skill to help my son to get a better education than I did and not be sitting on the road side smoking and not partying away with my friends, I was overjoyed,” she explains.
She is now enrolled in housekeeping courses at the HEART Trust/NTA. She also intends to get her Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) subjects, after attaining certification.
Ms. Anderson was among the more than 100 persons from vulnerable communities across the island, who have successfully completed substance misuse treatment programme and were recognised at a graduation ceremony held recently at the University of Technology’s Papine Campus.
Another beneficiary, Oshea Hyatt, also envisions a bright future for himself. “I have cut most of my substance abuse and started picking up back on certain parts of my life where I was falling short. The programme has given me a mind-set in understanding certain pathways of my educational goals where I didn’t have a real focus,” he tells JIS News.
Mr Hyatt also informs that he is now focused on a career in digital media.
“I am someone interested in visual and performing arts and I got the opportunity to study digital animation and I learnt how to process my cartoons, render my graphic images, capturing and illustrating different images,” he explains.
The treatment programme, which involves collaboration with the Ministry of National Security and the National Council on Drug Abuse (NCDA), is aimed at providing the participants with the necessary support to ensure that they can benefit from the CSJP’s range of educational and employment opportunities.
So far, the NCDA has provided substance abuse counselling for 197 CSJP III clients between April 2018 and April 2019.