Belize Youths Rank High in Getting Into Trouble with the Law, Says Drug Report 2016

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Updated: July 6, 2016

A 130-page report was recently released focusing on the prevalence of drug use in 13 Caribbean countries as well as other contributing factors to drug use.  The subjects who filled out the questionnaires were secondary and tertiary school students from a specific area of each country.  For Belize,  over one thousand nine hundred young persons participated as the forms sought to collect data in various areas including the perception of harm by the students when using drugs, alcohol, inhalants as well as suicidal thoughts and tendencies, family troubles and confrontation with law enforcement officials.  The data published shows Belize in the lead when it comes to students reporting to have had incidents with police as well as a record of low grades in school.  As it relates to inflicting self-harm, Belize ranked fourth among the thirteen countries with Grenada showing a high rate among the students.  Thoughts of suicide were another area where Belize ranked eighth.  There was also data collected on family troubles, anger, and management of drug use and alcohol consumption.  Interestingly, there was also an area where some students admitted to being taken advantage of sexually while there were some who admitted to taking sexual advantage of others.  In Belize, less than one percent of the students admitted to almost-always taking sexual advantage of someone whilst point eight percent admitted to almost-always being taken advantage of sexually.  An overall overview of the data on drug use aspect indicates, quote, “Alcohol and marijuana are the main drugs of use in most countries. Prevalence is relatively high but there is substantial variability from country to country. Tobacco is also used throughout the region, but to a lesser extent than alcohol and even marijuana. Prevalence suggests that cigarette use is mainly for the purpose of experimentation, given that current use rates are very low. What is interesting is the comparison of use of cigarettes versus marijuana—past year marijuana prevalence surpassed past year cigarette prevalence in most of the countries by a factor of two to three times in some instances and past month prevalence for marijuana was also notably higher than past month cigarette use in most countries.”  End of quote.  This report, named, “A Report on Students’ Drug Use in 13 Caribbean Countries” was done by the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission, the Security for Multi-dimensional Security and the Organization of American States.