Tue | Sep 27, 2022

'Kicking the habit'...More than 100 Jamaicans complete substance abuse treatment

Published:Friday | August 2, 2019 | 10:25 AM
Communications and Social Marketing Coordinator, Citizen Security and Justice Programme III, Patrice Nephew (right) speaking with (from left) retired teacher Patricia Eves-McKenzie; Acting Chief Technical Director in the Ministry of National Security, Shauna Trowers; and Executive Director of the National Council on Drug Abuse, Michael Tucker at a function at University of Technology in St Andrew on July 30, 2019 – Contributed photo.

More than 100 persons from vulnerable communities across the island have successfully completed substance misuse treatment under the Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP) III.

The beneficiaries, who hail from Kingston, St Andrew, St Catherine, Clarendon, St Ann, St Mary, Westmoreland and St James, were recognised at a graduation ceremony held on Tuesday at the University of Technology’s Papine campus.

The treatment programme, which involves collaboration with the Ministry of National Security and the National Council on Drug Abuse, 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.

They were assisted by counsellors, community case management officers, social workers and psychologists to overcome their substance abuse.

Speaking at the graduation ceremony, Chairman of the Council Board, Dr Kevin Goulbourne, said that the programme is an early diversion solution for persons struggling with substance abuse.

“We know that persons, who misuse substances, sooner or later, will come into contact with the criminal justice system and in those cases it is so much harder to get them back on track, so this early intervention is necessary,” he noted.

Goulbourne praised the graduates for their commitment to the programme.

“I must commend the graduates for not just changing your lifestyle of substance use but also…enhancing your skills so that you will not be a burden to society; you can improve the quality of your life and also add to the development of Jamaica. I hope all the graduates will put their past mistakes behind them and see this as a new beginning,” he said.

Executive Director of the Council, Michael Tucker, noted that the agency provided substance abuse counselling for 197 CSJP III clients between April 2018 and April 2019.

He said that over 150 of these clients have achieved “significant progress” in their recovery journey.

CSJP III Programme Manager, Orville Simmonds, commended the graduates on their progress.

“Recovery is about progression, not perfection; we are not perfect but we have to strive for progress as best as we can. The recovery of your mind is the recovery of yourself and that is a remarkable achievement so I want to applaud you for wanting better for yourselves,” he said.

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