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New program targets drug abuse

Peter Allen

Posted: Thursday, March 19, 2015. 9:36 pm CST.

Peter Allen

Peter Allen

Thursday, March 19, 2015. AARON HUMES Reporting: Belize’s Ministry of Health is partnering with the Organization of American States (OAS) to launch the local version of a region-wide drug abuse prevention treatment program, called PROCCER, that is The Training and Certification Programme for Drug and Violence Prevention, Treatment and Rehabilitation.

The objective of the programme is to contribute to optimizing the quality of care in prevention treatment, and rehabilitation of drug abuse and dependence and drug-related violence in the region through training, technical assistance and the application of technology, and by establishing a certification process for drug prevention and treatment personnel in coordination with regional and national authorities.

It was developed by the regional body responsible for monitoring drug abuse, the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission or CICAD in 2006 and has been introduced to the region from Jamaica to Barbados.

It is now coming to Belize and Dr. Peter Allen, CEO in the Ministry of Health, says it will be tailored to meet Belize’s specific challenges.

According to Dr. Allen Belize has only three certified drug rehab facilities – in Corozal and Cayo and at the Central Prison but offers other services through the major hospitals.

The program recognizes that drug abuse and dependency is a disease, not a lifestyle, and builds capacity among responders to handle cases of marijuana, cocaine, and harder drugs right up to prescription drugs bought over the counter.

70 trainees ranging from nurse practitioners to police officers and BDF soldiers are part of the training, which looks at the issue from the perspective of disease treatment.

OAS Belize Country Representative Starrett Greene says the OAS hopes the program reaches those who need their lives turned around and their dependency on drugs ended.


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