The Sandy Lane Charitable Trust made a donation of $75 000 and 10 Lenovo laptops to the Drug Education and Counselling Service this morning at their Roebuck Street, St Michael office.
Director of the Drug Education and Counselling Service, Roger Husbands welcomed surprise donation which was made by Pippa Challis and Julian Sacher of the Trust.
Husbands said the funds would go towards the development of the organisation’s programmes, research and tracking of students who matured out of the organization.
He said the Drug Education and Counselling Services hosted more than 300 participants from the ages nine to 21, who were recommended either from the judicial system, police and probation department, family or friends.
He expressed alarm at the increasing numbers within recent years.
“One of the things that I see happening immediately with the funds is for us to widen our counselling scope because recently we have been getting over seven referrals a day for youngsters, which means statistically something is happening in Barbados which needs dire attention,” he indicated.
The Service has 12 counselors and eight volunteers who mentor the participants. Husbands notes that more social workers and counselors needed to be designated to address the issues facing today’s youth.
He said a number of students who committed criminal or deviant acts and involved in drugs use suffered from a mental disorder. He expressed concern about the legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes and its impact on the youth of the country.
“For some drug lords, they are going to lose business because of this ….which can cause the drug lord to look at other drugs to bring in to make the money because drugs is a business,” Husbands said. (KK)