Drug abusers as young as 8

The face of drug abusers in Barbados has changed. And, according to chairman of the National Council of Substance Abuse (NCSA), Hadford Howell, there is preliminary evidence showing children as young as eight have abused some form of substance, be it alcohol or illegal drugs.

Addressing the opening ceremony of a two-day NCSA retreat themed Matters Of Substance, at Savannah Beach Hotel yesterday, Howell said: “There are lots of new challenges we are facing nowadays. Drugs are coming in all sorts of forms and fashions you may not have thought possible and we are very concerned at what we are seeing.

“Research is beginning to show, and we should have some more research done by the end of the year, that drugs seem to be used by younger people, maybe even in primary schools.”

In the feature address, Minister of Home Affairs Edmund Hinkson said the traditional look of a drug abuser was no longer the “paro”.