Community Development Minister Winston "Gypsy" Peters yesterday urged members of the public to stay away from drugs and the consumption of alcohol. Peters was speaking at the National Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Programme (NADAPP)'s launch of its theme song No Drugs in Me at the Brian Lara Promenade, Port-of-Spain yesterday. The song was performed by OJT trainee Nkosi Anyika.
"Drugs is no good for you and it is no good for the country. It is dangerous. Stay away from alcohol, cocaine and every other drugs," Peters said. He said his ministry was now focusing on healthy alternatives. "I urge you to listen to the positive message of joining a gym, healthy eating, pursuing music, cultural activities and getting involved in sports," he said.
"I'd like to fully endorse the message of no drugs. Even more, I'd like to encourage you to commit to a life of positive activities in sport, music, technology and other creative ventures." Peters, himself a calypsonian, said the song was made in the most powerful medium, music. NADAPP co-ordinator Wendy Ann Wattie said the programme's purpose is drug and substance abuse prevention and reduction initiatives.
"We have observed around the festive season that there is an increase in persons accessing treatment and there are a lot of road accidents owing to the consumption of alcohol. There can be fatalities due to the consumption of alcohol around the weekends, culture events and holidays," she said. Wattie said there had been an increase in drug and alcohol abuse around the season, but help was available.
"It varies according to the time of year. Some people also come to the rehabilitation clinics because some people are afraid of lapsing and go for treatment," she said. Wattie said there are alternatives and agencies that would help.
Display booths were open to members of the public yesterday. Stakeholders such as Arrive Alive, Avon, Best Village Mediation, branches of the Ministries of National Security, Community Development and of the People and Social Development, Sport and Gender, Youth and Child Development, gave out pamphlets.
Beverly Morson of Serenity Place, which is the first women's drug rehabilitation home, in Cochrane Village, and Keith Deyalsingh gave testimonies. Entertainment was provided by the San Juan Youngsters Tassa Group, Chucky, Renee Ramsey, Heeralal Rampartap, Krystal Khayne and parang group Amantes de Parranda.