Guidance Counselors Certified to Better Assist Students with Substance Abuse‏

Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 16, 2016 (SKNIS): Qualified Guidance Counselors in the Federation can now better assist students and young people deal with substance abuse after completing the recently concluded Training and Certification Programme for Drug and Violence Prevention, Treatment, and Rehabilitation (PROCCER) facilitated through the St. Kitts and Nevis National Council on Drug Abuse Prevention.

Tracy Wattley, Guidance Counselor at the Washington Archibald High School (WAHS), was on the treatment track of the programme and explained that her concentration during the training was based on using the “biosocial psycho method in the treatment of substance abuse and misuse clients.”

She noted that the training was helpful in dealing with students.

“The information I learnt from the course helped in dealing with clients who have a substance abuse problem in terms of how I approach them,” said Wattley. “It helped me to understand that it is not a simple issue but you have to tackle it from the biological, psychological and social aspects.”

Roysdean Richards, Guidance Counselor at the Charles E Mills Secondary School (CEMS), attended the PROCCER training for the prevention track. He noted that one of the most outstanding things was learning how to deal with those who are presently trying to attempt the use of marijuana or alcohol.

“It has taught us ways to help them to prevent such substance abuse to their bodies and to design programmes that would prevent them from such abuse,” he said, while adding that what he learnt has inspired him to develop programmes for the school that highlights the harmful effects of drugs. “It would have added some arsenal to us in terms of teaching them how to prevent certain drugs and how to maneuver and get engaged with more positive programmes.”

Terrence Craig, Organization of American State (OAS) Representative to St. Kitts and Nevis, encouraged the specialists to always be professional.

“I would like to call upon you to exercise the highest standards of ethics when executing your duties,” said Craig. “This will surely maintain your high profile of integrity. As we live in a small society, it is of utmost importance to keep your clients information confidential. Include your community, include your society in terms of promoting your prevention policies.”

Director of the National Drug Council, Karimu Byron, explained that the objective of the programme is to contribute to optimizing the quality of care in prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of drug abuse and dependence and drug-related violence. She further stated that the objective is being accomplished through both governmental and non-governmental frontline organizations that provide drug abuse and violence prevention, treatment and rehabilitation services that target people suffering from drug abuse and/or dependence and their families, as well as other high-risk populations.

The PROCCER Caribbean initiative, was launched in May 2011, in Barbados and has been adapted, developed, and implemented on a regional level, while meeting country-specific needs and capacities.

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