The meeting which ran from March 12-16, 2012, and held at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort, was dubbed the “Organization of American States (OAS) Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission Assessment Workshop.”
Split into two segments, March 12-14 focused on Development of Prevention and Treatment Evaluation Systems as well as Coordination with other educational programmes in the Caribbean. However the session from 15-16 March, focused on Assessment Methodology and training focal points to carry out needs assessment.
Ms. Erin Anderson, Coordinator of the meeting from the OAS Headquarters in Washington D.C. described the second segment of the training as most important in the rehabilitation process. She said the facilitators were there to help countries best employ methodologies learned during the week in various OAS member states.
In delivering the feature address, OAS representative to St. Kitts and Nevis Mr. Starret Greene said though many strides have been made in the fight against drug use and abuse, there is still much work to be done.
“Reducing the demand for illegal drugs throughout the length and breadth of our region remains a challenging task,” said Mr. Greene. “I therefore contend that our countries should spare no means to provide the requisite treatment to those persons in our region who are addicted to drugs and those who have been adversely impacted in one way or the other.”
Mr. Greene also insisted that regional and hemispheric cooperation are important responses to achieving meaningful outcomes to the problems as many counties are affected – from Canada in the north to Chile in the south.
Amongst the OAS member countries represented at the meeting were Haiti, Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados, Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas and host state St. Kitts and Nevis.