Clinical director of Substance Abuse Foundation, Angela Sealy has expressed concern about the consumption of alcohol in Barbadian society.
Sealy was speaking to Barbados TODAY over the weekend at a 10K hike sponsored by the National Council of Substance Abuse, when she revealed that male dependency on alcohol started from 35 years and up, while females were starting at 25. Although she was unable to give statistics, Sealy also revealed that teenagers were consuming significant amounts of marijuana daily.
“That is a problem because it impacts their studies and they start to lose a sense of themselves once they are smoking daily. It is important as parents that we recognize when there are changes in our children,” she pointed out.
The SAF clinical director identified marijuana, alcohol and crack cocaine as the most abused substances in the island. While disclosing that residential treatment facilities, Verdun House and Marina House treated approximately 40 adults in 2018, with eight to ten being females, Sealy noted that females were reluctant to seek treatment because of their familial responsibilities.
“There are more men than they are women because the women have children. It takes a lot for a woman to come into treatment because she has to think about what is going to happen to her children because even in their addiction they still want to make sure that their kids are taken care of.
“For women, it is so much more challenging to come into treatment thinking if the state takes my children ‘am I going to be able to get them back?’ So that is a bit of a hold back for women coming into treatment,” Sealy said.
Also remarking on the high incidence of underage drinking, Sealy urged parents to be vigilant regarding their children’s change in behavior.
“The underaged are doing it but quietly until it is so noticeable that it is impacting their studies . . . You have to be talking to your children. Sit down and have a conversation with them about what is happening. Reach out to them and get some help,” she recommended.