JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The National Council on Drug Abuse (NCDA) is celebrating its 35th anniversary under the theme ‘It Takes a Village…It Starts with Me’.
  • The agency is committed to lowering risk factors and increasing protective measures for substance use among individuals, families, communities, educational institutions and public- and private-sector entities, through public education campaigns, research, advocacy and interactive evidence-based programmes.

The National Council on Drug Abuse (NCDA) is celebrating its 35th anniversary under the theme ‘It Takes a Village…It Starts with Me’.

The agency is committed to lowering risk factors and increasing protective measures for substance use among individuals, families, communities, educational institutions and public- and private-sector entities, through public education campaigns, research, advocacy and interactive evidence-based programmes.

In an interview with JIS News, NCDA Research Analyst, Uki Atkinson, said the theme entreats Jamaicans to be a part of the process.

“It is both an individual and collective call to action to participate in shaping Jamaica’s future by passing on positive values, creating safe environments and enhancing holistic health in the quest for Jamaica to be the place to live, work, do business and raise families, in keeping with Vision 2030,” she said.

Drug Awareness Month officially began with a proclamation by the Governor- General on November 1.

Miss Atkinson said that a number of events will take place across the island. “These include public engagements, which aim to build awareness on the new and emerging threats in our region and in our island,” she explained.

She explained that the NCDA also seeks to build the capacity of parents to prevent, detect and address drug use among their children.

“To that end, we have a partnership with the National Parenting Support Commission. They have their events across the island, and we are going to be a significant part of that every Saturday for the month,” Miss Atkinson said.

She added that there are also sporting events, youth forums and general public education sessions across communities.

“Ultimately, what we want to do is build the interest and active participation among the population… in drug prevention as a key solution to many of the social problems that we’re seeing that are also affecting the health of our people and the development of our nation,” Miss Atkinson said.

Drug Awareness Month is observed annually in November to promote active involvement of citizens to prevent substance use, and to seek help for substance dependents to make healthier lifestyle decisions.