Department of Mental Health & Substance Dependence
Ministry of Health, Agriculture and Human Services
International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking
The Turks and Caicos Islands joined the rest of the World on June 26, 2020 in observance of International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Trafficking”. The day which has been set aside by the United Nations, aims to bring awareness about drug abuse and highlight the severity in which illegal drug trafficking have negatively impacted the globe.
This year’s theme “health for justice, justice for health” is a timely one, as it seeks to emphasize the importance of utilizing a holistic approach which involves health, human rights, criminal justice system and social service agencies in forging effective responses to address the issues related to drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking. As the leading agency in the fight against drugs, the Department of Mental Health and Substance Dependence is committed in providing the necessary services needed for persons struggling with substance use disorders and in implementing operative policies and legislation that enforce the prohibition of drugs.
Our Islands may be small, nonetheless, we face similar challenges in combating drug abuse and illegal drugs as other regions in the Caribbean; and its effects on individuals, families, societies and Government is no less damaging. Whether it is drug related violence, health epidemic and mass incarceration due to drug related offenses, we have to work together in order to provide integrated solutions to this ever increasing problem. Therefore, in keeping with the theme, it is important that the agencies responsible for change work collaboratively in reducing the availability and use of drugs in these Islands.
The Department of Mental Health and Substance Dependence would like to also take this time to remind persons during this Covid-19 period that:
- Smoking impairs lung function making it harder for the body to fight off coronavirus and other respiratory diseases.
- If you know someone who is experiencing or recovering from a substance use disorder, reach out to them to see how they are and to remind them that they are loved.
- Practice using positive coping skills to help decrease stress and anxiety levels during this difficult time.
- If you or someone you know is struggling with substance use during this stressful time, contact the Department of Mental Health and Substance Dependence.
The following activities took place during the month of June to commemorate International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking:
- Appearance on Health Matters radio program June 22
- Drug Awareness Materials via the various media platforms
- Continued educational presentations