Categorized | National News

Survey Reveals High Alcohol Use among Men

More than 20 years later and the results of the second Bahamas National Household Drug Prevalence Survey are out and researchers have found that alcohol, tobacco and marijuana are the leading drugs of choice among people living in The Bahamas between the ages 12 and 65 years.

The results were revealed at a dissemination meeting yesterday morning at the Police Headquarters on East Street.

Based on the results, lifetime use prevalence for alcohol was 74 per cent, tobacco at 21 per cent and marijuana at 13 per cent with males making up the largest percentile in each case.

Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands, who brought remarks, said the numbers are not that unusual.

“So not surprisingly 20 years later school surveys conducted show that alcohol and marijuana use is present and used by students in grade eight, 10 and 12. In that population there was a slight increase in alcohol use between 2002 and 2011,” he said.

“Marijuana also increased between 2008 and 2011 however, cocaine use was not common. Interestingly, in that study and studies presented today did not consider a more dangerous, seductive, addictive and deadly substance which is high fructose corn syrup or sugar.”

Apart from alcohol, tobacco and marijuana use, the 2017 survey further reveals that cocaine use accounted for one per cent, crack cocaine at 0.7 per cent.

Lifetime use for inhalants, tranquilizers, stimulants and analgesics were all less than one per cent and there also appears to be emerging drugs such as grabba, beady, e-cigarettes, hookah pipes and lean or “sizzurp.”

Minister of National Security Marvin Dames said the 2017 survey is the first of many initiatives to ensure that national drug and crime strategies are properly designed, implemented and monitored.

“As these signature make their way to our streets, crime and violence are its bi-product. As in other nations in the hemisphere, The Bahamas faces similar social ills and the reality is that laws and regulations alone do not always correct social behavior,” he said.

“The need to address contributing factors is essential to socioeconomic growth and community development.”

According to Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission Executive Secretary Adam Namm, the survey aligns with CICADS 2016 to 2020 plan to tackle the issue agreed upon last November at its 60th session.

“CICADS plan of action also focuses on placing individuals at the core of drug policies and taking into count gender, age and cultural issues and these two surveys appeal to those principles,” he said.

“The aim of these two studies is to provide the relevant authorities in The Bahamas with the relevant information that it would need to estimate drug use as well as to define the characteristics of the persons who are users and explore other areas within the society in order to develop evidence based drug policies and programs.”

A total of 2,533 interviews were completed with approximately half or 52 per cent being females with an average age of 36 years.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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