Permanent Secretary Ministry of Social Rehabilitation Wayne Carey spoke to us on behalf of the Department for National Drug Control on treatment and prevention of substance abuse in Bermuda

When we speak of the cost of addictions, we are not just focusing on the financial costs. The cost of addictions also encompasses the social price that is paid by the addict, his or her family and the community. This price is often manifested in terms of health, social relationships, children's welfare, employment opportunity and productivity within the community. Many people who are addicted to alcohol, tobacco and other substances lose their jobs, lose relationships and lose their lives. Even those who see themselves as recreational users pay a price when they use drugs. The price paid can have far reaching effects and may even lead to death of the substance users or someone else who becomes a victim of the user or abuser's intoxication.  We each have a role to play and a responsibility to support the treatment and recovery of those who suffer from alcohol and substance abuse.  We must challenge ourselves to look inward and figure out how we can make a contribution to the recovery process so that we can improve the lives of our loved ones and the welfare of our community .


The Department for National Drug Control is committed towards working with other agencies towards demand reduction. Its mission is to minimize the health and social impact of drug dependency by providing:  Sufficient and comprehensive treatment and rehabilitation services using a continuum of care model; Providing broad-based knowledge to the general public in harm minimization strategies for drug addicts and; Promoting a healthy drug-free environment within prisons and correctional facilities through the provision of treatment to those affected by substance abuse


The Department for National Drug Control currently is directly responsible for two treatment agencies, the Women's Treatment Centre of Bermuda and CampSpirit, a relapse prevention residential treatment facility for males.  The Department for National Drug Control also has partnerships with Turning Point, which functions under the Bermuda Hospitals Board, Focus Counselling Services (a grass roots agency for persons who are in the pre-  contemplative stage and which provides transitional housing for recovering male addicts), Salvation Army Harbour Light which provides residential treatment and a Community Life Skills programme, Bermuda Assessment and Referral Centre (BARC) - through which all assessments for drug abuse should be channelled, and Bermuda Youth Counselling Services (BYCS) - an agency strictly for young people who are experiencing problems with drugs or alcohol.  We also have partnerships with PRIDE Bermuda, Bermuda Centre for Drug-Free Sports, and the Council Against drug Abuse (CADA) which are all prevention agencies.


As we observe Recovery Month during the month of September, the Perm. Sec. urged us all to remember recovery is a life-long process and urged everyone to dig deep into their consciousness and find a way to make a contribution to Saving Lives, Saving Dollars, not as an event but as an ongoing part of your community service.