There has been no response from the Ministries of Health, Education about support for RESCU efforts relating to young people and drugs

Dear Editor,

The Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan is reported to be alarmed at the young age of ‘drug users’ while addressing a youth conference at Mahaicony recently, supported by the result of recent surveys done. I started with the support of colleagues, the ACDA-RESCU graphic information programme four years ago, based on visual material and data gathered over twenty two years. At that time I had a lone supporter, my friend Raymond Hall; most of the others in the ʼ90s were interested in benefiting from the financial rush evident from the marijuana and cocaine trade. RESCU visits schools both private and public, and other locations. Many of the street children back then were the offspring of addicts; many of them were made as offerings to dealers for drugs.  RESCU has also participated in lectures and meetings organised by a very vibrant young lady in the Ministry of Education. We lost Clarence Young recently; his rehab facility (Phoenix) had hosted twelve-year-old addicts.

The last meet was at the PAHO building on Brickdam. A lot of information was exchanged by participants, including the fact there was a popular character who was telling young students at a South Georgetown school that smoking marijuana would help them with their studies. There was a participant from the Ministry of Public Security at this meeting. I also reported that mature elders from Bachelor’s Adventure had a few years before asked for support against a character/s who were giving free samples of marijuana to the junior football team, cultivating clientele; that information I had passed to colleagues in the Region, who were aware of the situation. At one city school while conducting a talk with students on the dangers of ‘mind altering substances’ I began to explain the uses of cocaine paste given for consumption to human sacrificial victims in Mesoamerican cultures. I was interrupted by a teacher who informed me that the students don’t do ‘History’, however at the same school its very progressive headmistress as we were leaving showed us marijuana cigarettes that were thrown through the windows by students who thought we were probably going to do a search. This information serves to define the timeline and prevalence of the infiltration into our society of marijuana, as well as Frankenstein marijuana, crack cocaine, black joint, ecstasy and heavy alcohol, even among our academic youth. This is not sensationalism, the GPF can verify the impact of drugs in both domestic and gun crimes, while the welfare people at Education can add the horror revealed among students of vulnerable age.

The irony is that I have covered this in several of my GNNL Friday articles over the past two years, and I have approached both the Ministries of Health and Education for a meaningful support engagement with the RESCU products and efforts we have created and conduct, with no response. Thus, the only philosophical discourse that these young people are confronting is coming from the voices of the pusher men and women, and sometimes the stash in the house, rather than a home.

Yours faithfully,

Barrington Braithwaite

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