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JAMAICA: CSJP partners with NCDA to improve drug treatment access

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#Jamaica, November 14, 2017 – Kingston – The partnership between the Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP) III and the National Council on Drug Abuse (NCDA), through the Specialised Substance Misuse Treatment Programme, has served to improve drug treatment access for vulnerable youth.   Through the collaboration, youngsters in communities targeted by the CSJP III are recommended to the NCDA for treatment if they have been flagged for substance misuse during assessment.

Substance Abuse Officer, NCDA, Kingston, Denise Chin, says a key strength of the programme is its ability to reach persons who would not otherwise access treatment.

“It offers a very structured way for participants to receive help and access to treatment facilities and options that they wouldn’t otherwise reach out for… so this is a good access to primary care,” she notes.

Ms. Chin, who was addressing a recent JIS ‘Think Tank’, said the benefits of the programme extend even to family members, contributing to family and community cohesiveness and leading to others following the example of the participants in seeking treatment.

“Most times in assessment when asked why they use drugs, such as marijuana, youngsters would say it feels good. So there is a trend of a lack of coping skills. In the programme, there are clear skills that you have to be taught to cope with stress and to be considered functional,” she explained.

These include anger management, conflict resolution, stress management and refusal skills, which contribute to better stress management to effectively handle the workplace and make good life choices.

“The process of reintegrating and re-socialising them into society is a stepping stone for them, as they are motivated by the possibility of getting a negative drug test,” Ms. Chin said.

Substance Abuse Officer at the NCDA, Suzanne Brown, said clients are put through a screening and assessment process upon entering the programme, adding that most clients are usually at a pre-contemplation stage, where they see nothing wrong with their drug misuse behaviour.

“That would mean that to pull them from that stage to now starting to contemplate change, we would now go into more drug education sessions, doing functional analysis, the internal and external triggers, understanding the behaviour itself – when it is done, how and with whom – and look at the short-term personal benefits versus the long-term consequences of continued drug use for them,” she added.

“We look at their happiness scale in terms of the different aspects of their lives – their home and school – and how they are functioning overall,” Ms. Brown said.

She said that in treatment planning, the programme examines the client’s support system, such as their family, followed by exploring strategies with the client to manage environmental, social and emotional triggers.   Group sessions would also include life-skill-building presentations and workshops.   More than 150 individuals were referred to the NCDA for treatment following risk assessments.

The NCDA conducted 541 individual sessions and 80 group sessions over a 12-month period starting July 2016. Additional workshops were done in communities and schools to sensitise children and students about marijuana use and to train community volunteers to identify persons in need of treatment.   Sixty-one per cent of the participants were compliant with the sessions and 10.1 per cent tested negative after completion of the treatment programme.

Ms. Brown explained that even though some of the clients may not be negative at the end of the programme, they would have made significant progress.

“What you will find is that a lot of the times, some are chain-smokers, and throughout the programme, you will notice significant reduction in usage,” she said.

“Persons probably started with back-to-back smoking, and as the session progressed… you will notice that while they have not totally stopped using, they have been able to reduce the number of (marijuana cigarettes) per day,” she added.

Ms. Chin, meanwhile, is hopeful that the collaboration with the CSJP III will continue, as it has been effective in impacting the lives of youth.

“It’s an ongoing partnership and another way for persons in the community to access our services, so we see that as a benefit. Some persons might not have seen that they have a problem or would be too timid or afraid to get help.   So, it is good that the CSJP streamlines these persons who really need it,” she said.

The Specialised Substance Misuse Treatment Programme was formed out of a realisation that drug use, particularly abuse of marijuana, has prevented a number of CSJP recipients from accessing vocational skills training and employment offerings.

Under the Memorandum of Understanding with the NCDA, signed in 2016, persons flagged for drug use through the CSJP’s Community Case Management programme are referred to the NCDA for the treatment course before they transition into the vocational, job-training or job-placement features of the CSJP.

By: Denise Dennis (JIS)

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Bahamas News

Polio is back; 65 million missed shots in another COVID fall out

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#USA, August 4, 2022 – For the first time in almost a decade a new case of polio was recorded in the United States. The case which ended in paralysis emphasizes the danger the region faces as vaccination levels drop to 30-year lows.

The World Health Organization warned in early July explained that vaccination in the region of the Americas and the rest of world was dropping rapidly because of various spin off effects precipitated by the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Over 65 million infants missed out on basic vaccines in the last three years thanks to disruptions in routine healthcare, lockdowns and other circumstances. The effects are already being felt as once eradicated disease like measles and polio are once again emerging.

The Pan American Health Organization announced earlier this year the Americas are now facing another measles outbreak after having been declared free of the disease in 2016.

Dr. Jarvis Barbosa, Assistant director of PAHO said vaccination levels are now as low as they were in 1994 for measles and polio and Brazil has had several outbreaks of measles.

In the case of the United States an unvaccinated young adult developed the disease after contact with another individual vaccinated with a live version of the vaccine.

The breakout polio case in the US sent shockwaves across the country because of the severe nature of the disease. Polio is an extremely dangerous disease with no known cure. It causes paralysis in as many as 1 in 200 infected and that paralysis is permanent.

Normally very few school age children would be at risk in the Americas as the vaccine is required to start school but with the gap in vaccinations many more children are now at risk.

Polio was one of the most feared diseases of the 20th century, paralyzing and killing hundreds of thousands, especially children. Thankfully vaccinated individuals are not at risk and as such the WHO is advising that the best way to protect against polio is vaccination.

 

Photo Caption:  Child in Benin takes Polio vaccine, UNSDG

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Caribbean News

Dunn’s River Offers Special Summer Package

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#Jamaica, August 5, 2022 – Persons looking for an adventurous activity to do this summer are being encouraged to take advantage of the ‘Summa Thrills’ promotion, being offered by the world-famous Dunn’s River Falls and Park.

The promotion, which ends September 15, includes paying one cost to climb the Falls, ‘Tek-A-Hike’ and Zip over the Falls via the Chukka Falls Flyer. In addition, persons will also have access to the beach, splash pad, and other amenities.

The cost for residents is $5,000 per person and US$75 per person for non-residents. A photo identification is required to access the resident rate.

“We have partnered with CHUKKA to create this five-star experience,” Marketing Manager, Urban Development Corporation (UDC), Kereen Cole-Ivey, told JIS News.

She further informed that ‘Tek-A-Hike’ is the newest product offering at Dunn’s River Falls and Park and that the promotion provides an opportunity to build awareness and renew interest in the falls and park.

‘Tek-a-Hike’ is a guided, one-hour-and-a-half hike that starts at the Tranquility Gardens and ends in the Dunn’s River Falls & Park Nursery. Here guests can purchase plants or adopt a tree as part of the park’s Reforestation and Conservation Programme.

The hike is approximately two miles and is an experience that the entire family can enjoy. Along the trail, guests will learn about the flora and fauna on the entire property, which is called the Belmont property, as well as the general history of Dunn’s River Falls and Park. They will also get a chance to visit the Belmont Great House ruins.

“Coming out of COVID-19, we thought that this (Summa Thrills) would have been a very great adventure for the family and for everyone to enjoy and have a good time,” said Mrs. Cole-Ivey, adding that the UDC has other plans in place for Dunn’s River.

Dunn’s River Falls and Park is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. Persons are being encouraged to book ahead via the Dunn’s River website at www.dunnsriverfallsja.com, otherwise tickets can be purchased on location.

You may also visit @dunnsriver.jamaica and @udcjamaica on Instagram or call 876 618-6052 for additional information.

The Dunn’s River Falls and Park is managed and operated by St. Ann Development Corporation (SADCO), a subsidiary of the UDC.

 

Contact: Shanna K. Salmon

Release: JIS

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Caribbean News

Carnival Cruise ordered to pay $10.2 million for passenger claiming rape by staff

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

#USA, August 5, 2022 – A Miami-based Federal Court returned a more than $10.2 million verdict against Carnival Cruise Line in favour of a passenger who claims a former crew member raped her in a storage closet aboard the Carnival Miracle in 2018.

A jury issued the verdict recently in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida finding Carnival liable for damages to the plaintiff, for false imprisonment and sexual assault by a crew member, in December 2018.

The jury separately found that Carnival was not negligent and that the former crew member did not intentionally inflict emotional distress on Plaintiff.

According to a statement issued last week Tuesday, Carnival Cruise Line said the incident between the plaintiff and the former crew member was consensual and plans to appeal the court’s decision.

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