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Addicted to drugs

by Barbados Today
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Mother begs for help for teenage son

“He will kill himself before his time and I want him to get detox!”

The mother of an 18-year-old made this plea today in the No. 1 District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court after the teenager admitted to smoking up to 64 packets of marijuana on a daily basis.

The teen who lives in the Bayville, St Michael area was stopped while driving a hired car on Black Rock Main Road, St Michael on March 1 around 11:10 a.m.

On the dashboard, according to prosecutor sergeant St Clair Phillips, were the packets and a grease-proof wrapping of vegetable matter suspected to be cannabis weighing 32.25 grammes and worth approximately $322.50.

A search warrant was later executed at his house and more of the illegal substance was found on his bedside table.

He was charged and pleaded guilty to two counts of possession, possession with intent to supply and trafficking of the drug.

“I have a bad problem with marijuana. It was for myself. I would smoke all of them in an hour’s time,” the photography student told Magistrate Douglas Frederick today.

His attorney Harry Husbands in mitigating on his behalf also admitted to a serious drug problem adding that the young man was self medicating as he was battling a number of health issues including asthma, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and a mitral valve prolapse. He asked that the magistrate show leniency so that the teen, who he said was a first-time offender and had not wasted the court’s time, could get help.

However, the young man’s mother gave an even more candid explanation of her son’s problems.

She told the court that she only recently found out about her only child’s addiction to the drug as he was not using it home.

“Friends told him that weed is a natural thing and is good for him. So he takes it because he is terrified of the pain and smokes to stop it. However, the doctor told him he cannot smoke and take the medication,” the mother stated.

She added: “He is going to die. I want him to go and get detox and go to Verdun House. He is not a doctor and he will die before his time. He is killing himself slowly but surely. His condition is such that he needs a doctor to deal with him.”

The teen also admitted that he needed the help to address his drug addiction.

He was therefore remanded to the custody of doctors at the Psychiatric Hospital for assessment to determine his suitability for the programme offered at Verdun House.

However his legal troubles did not end there as he had to appear before Magistrate Graveney Bannister to answer the charge of driving a hired car when he was not the holder of a valid driver’s licence.

“I have a permit to learn for the past three months,” he revealed adding: “I get anxiety a lot. I actually told myself I am going to learn to drive today . . . so I took the car for a spin,” he said moments before his attorney asked the court to be lenient given his health issues.

Magistrate Bannister then reprimanded and discharged him saying that he was “penitent enough”.

The teenager will make his next appearance before the District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court on March 25.

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