Women's Issues In Guyana

Substance abuse programme for women to come on stream

Posted in Health Issues by wiig on December 23, 2007
Tags: , , ,

…$100M slated to tackle drug addiction prevention

Kaieteur News – December 23, 2007

Female drug addicts will soon have intervention recourse to fight their addiction. Minister of Health, Dr Leslie Ramsammy made the announcement on Friday during his end of year press briefing.

He noted that the venture will be in collaboration with the Catholic Relief Service (CRS) and the substance recovery programme will be located on the East Coast Demerara.

Presently, there are only two such programmes in existence. The first is the Phoenix Recovery and the other is operated by the Salvation Army.

The intervention, which will take the form of a facility, will require persons to live in for periods of six months to one year, depending on the level of addiction.

Whilst abstinence will be on the front burner, the programme will focus on addressing the lifestyles of the patients through counseling and supervision.

He added that in the first quarter of the coming year, the ministry is seeking to introduce a holistic approach whereas a medical component will be introduced. “That is, treating persons with certain medication in order to improve the recovery rate…2008 will for the first time see a comprehensive recovery response for substance in Guyana .”

Both of the current substance abuse recovery programmes cater specifically for men. According to Dr Ramsammy, the programme will focus entirely on behavior change and abstinence.

Currently, according to Ramsammy, the success rate for substance abuse recovery hovers around 30 per cent.

He did, however, acknowledge that the recovery programmes will only address the problem of a small number of cases.

Ramsammy posited that the larger number of cases that are of a more critical nature are the persons experimenting with illicit substances, hence a prevention programme will have to be constituted.

In terms of budgetary allocation for the prevention plan, Minister Ramsammy disclosed that $100M will be slated for the programme that is yet to be constituted, “the whole programme will cost much more than that.”

The Minister also addressed the issue of alcohol and tobacco use, noting that starting January there will be two new support programmes in place which target alcohol abuse. He noted that the alcohol support programmes will be taking the format of the Alcohol Anonymous (AA) programmes that are currently used worldwide.

In January, one such group will commence meeting at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) and another in New Amsterdam .

These groups aim to complement similar programmes hosted by the Salvation Army and other civic organisations.

According to Minister Ramsammy, the programme is intended to be launched in each of the 10 Regions of Guyana. “This will be one of the largest programmes to deal with substance abuse.”


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