PHILIPSBURG: --- The Minister of Justice has decided to start a public campaign in order to bring awareness about the high level of alcohol and drug abuse among young people in St. Maarten.
At a press conference on Tuesday, Dr. Tasheena Maccow Thomas of Turning Point said that there has been an increase in the use of drugs among young people in St. Maarten. “Over the past two years, there has been an increase in drug and alcohol abuse, Young people are not only using marijuana, but they are also using cocaine and popping pills. Some are even using another drug to replace fentanyl.
Police sounded the alarm on Sunday after the summer J’ouvert where a number of youths attended and were busy using alcohol and drugs.
Minister of Justice Anna Richardson said that parents have to play their role, however, a decision has to be made by the government as to how they will deal with the issue of drug and alcohol abuse. The Minister said curtailing such is a hefty task, and it cannot be left to KPSM to curtail it. She said at the moment government relies heavily on parents to guide and monitor their children.
Asked if conditions regarding age groups were part of the permit granted by the ministry for the summer jump-up, the Minister said no conditions were applied to the permit and in order for that to be done a policy would have to be in place.
However, they explained that there have been some hiccups and setbacks in having Dr. Thomas in schools creating awareness, and as such she has decided to start a public campaign hoping to attract the attention of all parents.