Parents Urged To Protect Children From Psychoactive Substances – St. Lucia Times

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Saint Lucia’s Substance Abuse Advisory Council Secretariat (SAACS) wants parents to play an active role in protecting their children from the harmful effects of psychoactive substances, illicit or otherwise.

Psychoactive substances, including drugs, affect how the brain works, causing changes in mood, awareness, thoughts, feelings, or behaviour.

SAACS Deputy Coordinator Wang Sonson underscored the need for parents to educate and protect their children.

“We don’t have the evidence to show that it is actually affecting our youths right now, but we know these substances have been found on island,” Sonson told St. Lucia Times.

The SAACS has been visiting schools to educate students on the harm psychoactive substances can cause.

He explained that substances with a level of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are the ones most common in Saint Lucia.

Sonson disclosed that they come in edibles, including packaged candies.

“We just want the parents and children alike to be alert for these substances,” the SAACC official stated.

Sonson revealed that his organisation had been visiting schools on request over the years.

However, he said a resilience programme is in place, enabling a holistic approach involving life skills and substance awareness.

“We had a meeting with the Ministry of Education last year to introduce the programme,” Sonson told St. Lucia Times, adding that the Ministry was very receptive.

“What we are doing now is working with the School Safety Officer to implement this programme in the schools,” he observed.

Sonson said the programme hopes to target students now entering secondary schools.

“So in the coming months, you will be hearing more about this programme and its impact in the schools,” he told St. Lucia Times.