Last year, the National Drug Abuse Control Council Belize conducted a National Secondary School Drug Prevalence Survey. It focused on a population of 8,929 students from 30 selected Belizean secondary schools between the ages of 13 and 17 years. Many adults however, were skeptical about the results, since they portrayed excessive consumption of alcohol among the youths. Today, we spoke with Director of the National Drug Abuse Control Council Esner Vellos on the matter.


elsnerEsner Vellos- Director of the National Drug Abuse Control Council


“This national secondary survey is conducted every two years in all OAS members states and these are basically to look at the prevalence of drugs and where as a country and as a region we stand in the consumption of drugs among our young people, the survey was focused primarily on a population of approximately 8929 students from thirty Belizeans secondary schools between the ages of 13 and 17 years throughout the country of Belize.”


The data will be utilized as a marker for provision of strategic planning and policy development. With this in mind Vellos spoke about consumption and what the results showed.


Esner Vellos- Director of the National Drug Abuse Control Council


“Our young people are consumers of substances and one of the substances that came out on top of the list was the consumption of alcohol and the life then prevalence of alcohol in young people is approximately 66% and when you break it down between females and males 64.0% of males consume alcohol and 52% of females consume alcohol between the ages of 13 and 17 so with that information gives us the ability to be able to design programs to target the reduction of the consumption of alcohol among secondary schools.”


Karell Heredia – Reporter


“What at the future plans based on these results?”


Esner Vellos- Director of the National Drug Abuse Control Council


“The plans are that with the data that we have now, the last one that was gathered was in 2008 and that was the last time we did the national a secondary school preventative prevalence survey and now with this information along with other research that we have already done since 2010 provides us with a clear guideline on terms of what we need to do as a council what we need to do as a ministry of health in terms of addressing the issues of prevention as a health issue rather than a social issue having said that the information that we utilize will clearly define the objectives of the National Abuse Control Council for the next five years.”


Vellos warns parents to keep a watchful eye on teenagers and to be on the lookout for changes in behavior, changes that could manifest drug consumption amongst youths. He also added that the whole idea of surveys is so that NDACC can have a clear picture of what threats drugs poses to youths. He also added that NDACC will strive to provide effective and efficient services to the population they serve.

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