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Green Paper on drug abuse

Social development minister Michael Weeks (File photograph)

A Green Paper is being drafted to seek ways to reduce drug abuse and increase rehabilitation.

The Department for National Drug Control is putting together the document in line with a Throne Speech pledge by the Progressive Labour Party.

It is expected to be completed by July.

Policymakers will be given information related to: drug control infrastructure; the drug situation in Bermuda; public perception on substance misuse and abuse; policy and legislative framework; and areas of priority.

Social development minister Michael Weeks said: “For an approach to be effective and lead to a solution for drug-abuse-related problems, it needs to be comprehensive, multidisciplinary, and well balanced.

“Such an approach must be based on robust nationwide and inter-agency collaboration at all levels.

“This Paper represents an important step forward in addressing the challenges presented to us concerning substance misuse and abuse in Bermuda.

“The Green Paper, along with other publications of the DNDC, will provide a clear body of evidence that speaks to the way forward for drug control in Bermuda.”

Mr Weeks invited members of the public to be a part of the process, ask questions and “support the DNDC”.

Information-gathering on the public’s perception of substance misuse and abuse has already begun and is expected to conclude on April 20.

The DNDC will hold one-on-one meetings with community and sports groups, government officials and many other individuals.

Focus groups will engage young people, people who are in recovery from substance abuse, families and friends of people that have experienced addiction, and people who are battling substance abuse addiction.

The department will launch a survey on public perceptions towards substance misuse and abuse.

Anyone wishing to share their opinion on reducing substance abuse and increasing rehabilitation is invited to e-mail the Department for National Drug Control at dndc@gov.bm or call 292-3049 between now and April 20