JAMAICANS between ages 12 and 65 are being urged to participate in a household survey later this year for the National Drug Prevalence Study, from which a comprehensive policy will be crafted to support the reduction of harmful alcohol use.
The plea was made by the Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Christopher Tufton on Wednesday during the launch ceremony for the study at the ministry’s offices in New Kingston.
“I appeal to those who are called upon to participate in the survey, as it will provide keen insight into current realities among our people in relation to substance use, access to treatment and prevention services as well as perspectives on policies implemented to protect public health,” said Tufton.
The goal of the study, Tufton said, is expected to generate national prevalence data on psychoactive substance use, with a particular focus on harmful alcohol use, to inform and monitor national drug policies.
The $17.5-million study, which is being funded by the National Health Fund (NHF), is also expected to develop evidence-based drug demand reduction initiatives, which would be prevention, treatment and harm reduction programmes to mitigate the effects of substance use and misuse among Jamaica’s population.
The study is being launched in partnership with National Council on Drug Abuse, the Centre for Leadership and Governance at The University of the West Indies, Mona, and the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission of the Organisation of American States.