A recently published report shows that children as young as five years old are using alcohol, tobacco and other drugs in Antigua.
That data is however three years old as the survey which turned up the finding was done since 2013 and is only now being released.
Observer Media’s Kieron Murdoch reports that the head of the Office of National Drug and Money Laundering Control Policy has attributed the delay to the many channels the report had to go through before publication.
The report provides statistics about the patterns of drug use among local secondary school students as well as access to drugs and the perception of harm from drugs.
ONDCP Director, Lieutenant Colonel Edward Croft says the data Data had to be analyzed and go to the appropriate ministries for them to address any concerns…before the document was published.
The report has revealed that alcohol and marijuana are the choice drugs among the 851 secondary school students who took the self-administered survey in 2013.
The study also shows that although more adolescents used drugs in 2013, overall, when compared with 2005, the increases for each category were relatively small.
Four hundred and 22 boys and 417 girls answered the questionnaire. They were drawn nine government secondary schools and three private institutions.
Fifty-eight per cent of the males reported using marijuana.
Just over half of all the students surveyed, considered marijuana to be quite easy to get and just under a third said they got the illegal substance from a friend.