More women seem to be presenting with drug problems.
Although unable to give definite numbers, Clinical Director of the Substance Abuse Foundation Jacqui Lewis said it was clear there was an increase.
“Within the last ten years I have definitely seen an increase in women at Verdun House. I will not say its 100 per cent or 20 per cent; I will not go there, but definitely there has been an increase,” Lewis said at a seminar held at Verdun House today.
“Even phone calls from people calling to see where to direct women, and what kind of woman would be eligible. Overall there’s been a lot more interest for women.”
She said a new facility, to be located in Newcastle, St John would be opened to provide drug treatment for women.
It will be designed to accommodate about 15 women.
“We are working with the agencies out there like PAHO [the Pan American Health Organization] and the EU [European Union] to see how we can help women and this has been a long-awaited facility for the women for sure,” Lewis said.
She told those gathered for the workshop that one of the other concerns was that much younger males were in need of drug treatment.
“We find that now they are presenting much younger at 18, 19 and so on, and this is a cause for concern,” she said.
Lewis noted that more people were also showing up with not only addiction, but other disorders.
“We have had a lot of emphasis put on double diagnosis. Working with other presenting disorders has been our major interest . . . . We have had professors come teach us on the presenting of other disorders,” she explained.
“So that has been our emphasis . . . . At present we have 16 men in the primary phase and 15 in the second phase, but we can accommodate 25. Marijuana is still one of the main drugs presenting and crack cocaine users.”
Human Resources Director in Client Development at Verdun House Marietta Carrington said today’s seminar was timely and relevant.
The session involved professionals who interact with children, including teachers.
Carrington said towards the end of the month another seminar would be held with the clergy and Sunday school teachers.