Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 15, 2016 (SKNIS): Persons battling drug abuse in St. Kitts and Nevis can now get help from one or more of the 57 individuals who officially graduated as drug prevention specialists and drug treatment specialists on Saturday, February 13. The 28 newly qualified specialists in drug prevention and the 29 in drug treatment were trained by local facilitators which led to certification by the University of the West Indies.
The Fundraiser, and Training and Certification Programme for Drug and Violence Prevention, Treatment, and Rehabilitation (PROCCER) Graduation Gala was organized by the St. Kitts and Nevis National Council on Drug Abuse Prevention at the Ocean Terrace Inn. Dr. Milton Whittaker, Chairman of the Council, offered words of encouragement to the specialists and noted that their successful training is an achievement to both the Council and the Federation on a whole.
“The graduands have now acquired the expertise to assist with the prevention of drug abuse and also the treatment of those who for various reasons have fallen prey to drug abuse,” said Dr. Whittaker. “Graduands, many times over the years, it appears nationally and internationally that the war on drug abuse was lost, then came some successes. Do not give in, continue the fight.”
He noted that challenges will continue, but with the “requisite expertise and tools”, the Council will continue to fight for a brighter tomorrow, a tomorrow where “we heal or rehabilitate” when prevention fails.
Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, commended all the participants for the sacrifice and determination to complete such an important element of training. He recognised the Organization of American States (OAS) for playing an integral role in drug abuse and prevention.
“I take this opportunity to thank the OAS, who I am advised funded this training and for providing the financial and technical support that has ensured that we have qualified service providers, who will now offer drug prevention and treatment services in the Federation,” said Dr. Harris. “We all know the harmful use of drugs is a serious problem that creates severe impacts on the health of users, on their families and the wider communities.”
He thanked all who supported the fundraiser and noted that it is much appreciated as it will assist with providing the necessary resources to move programmes and services in the area of drug treatment and prevention.
Prime Minister Harris made special mention of the private sector for its sterling contribution in this regard, and stated that all must come aboard to eradicate the trafficking and the use of illegal drugs from society.
The Minister of National Security noted that the St. Kitts and Nevis National Council on Drug Abuse Prevention is an integral department of National Security. He noted that the “Ministry of National Security and by extension the Government will assist and empower the national drug council in meeting its annual objectives and the delivery of its programmes.”
The ceremony was held under the patronage of the Governor General, His Excellency Sir Tapley Seaton, and attended by top Government officials, including the Minister of Health, Honourable Eugene Hamilton, members of the Police High Command, members of the diplomatic corps, persons from the private sector, financial institutions and specially invited guests.
The main sponsors were TDC Insurance Company and the St. Kitts and Nevis Sagicor Life Inc. A number of private and public sector partners contributed to the event, including the Ministry of Social Transformation, Nevis, Ministry of Social Services, St. Kitts, National Caribbean Insurance Co. Ltd, Kajola Kristada, Sakoda Scapa, Necessary Beauty, Bloom Cupcake and Dufry.