Drug Awareness Month 2019 is being observed this month under the theme “Youth Let us talk about alcohol and other drugs a conversation that could change your life.”
In an address for Drug Awareness Month 2019, Health Minister, Dr. Kenneth Darroux said alcohol and other drugs have become a health and economic burden for some Dominicans over the years.
“According to the world health organization, approximately 3.4 million people die every year from harmful use of alcohol leading to many diseases such as: liver; mouth and throat cancer; alcohol syndrome and other alcohol use disorders,” Darroux stated. “Alcohol use is intimately associated to 22% of all suicides, 22% of interpersonal violence and 15% of traffic Injury.”
Dr. Darroux further stated that a review of data on alcohol consumption in Dominica showed that in 2016, it was estimated that the nation’s average drinking population consumed 8.2 liters of alcohol per year and 34.9 percent of males and 7.8 percent of females are considered heavy episodic drinkers.
Dr. Darroux said a number of activities have been planned to observe Drug Awareness Month.
The activities planned for Drug Awareness Month include: two awareness walks and rallies in Portsmouth and Roseau to be held in collaboration with the Youth Division; a grand exhibition at the public library which will feature the work of several departments and; two “don’t drink and drive” campaigns, one at Pont Cassé and the other in Roseau.
Dr. Darroux said Ministry of Health and Social Services will continue its drive to educate and empower individuals on drugs.