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Antigua-Barbuda one step closer to national anti-drug strategy
Published on March 31, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

ST JOHN’S, Antigua -- The completion of a information needs and resource analysis (INRA) report has moved Antigua and Barbuda one step closer in realising the full potential of the recently approved national anti-drug strategy.

The Office of National Drug and Money Laundering Control Policy (ONDCP) announced the completion of the INRA report, commissioned by the Organization of American States (OAS)/Inter American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD), which evaluated the nation’s data collection and analytical capacity on drug abuse and other drug related matters.

The INRA report examined the information and resources readily available on drug use and treatment, the needs of key institutions and a strategic analysis of the data collection mechanism.

The report also identified three main areas of development geared at significantly improving the data collection and dissemination capabilities on island. These areas include: “…the establishment of a National Drug Council to house the centralized database and to oversee the collection, analyzing and dissemination of data; the updating of the current IT hardware to support proper data management and analytic software; and the training of individuals to utilize these systems.”

The needs analysis provided a number of short, medium and long term recommendations for the targeted institutions. Short term goals such as fully establishing the drug information network; medium term goals such as re-establishing the National Drug Council and long termed goals which include the instillation of specialized programmes to properly manage the collected data.

Lt. Col Edward Croft, Antigua and Barbuda’s Commissioner to CICAD, indicated that the release of the report was timely as efforts to coordinate the relevant stake holders to provide accurate information is critical. This information will result in a more realistic picture of the efforts by agencies to implement the national drug strategy with a goal of becoming a healthier and more productive nation.
 
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