The Guyana Drug Information Network (GUYDIN), in its 2019 Annual Report, has recommended the development and implementation of an Alcohol Policy to curb alcohol abuse and carnage on our roadways.
GUYDIN said that while alcohol is a culturally accepted substance, it contributes to several health risks and can lead to dependence and other social issues.
A comparative analysis of 2017 and 2018 done by GUYDIN shows that the number of reported persons charged for driving under the influence for 2018 was 2,535. This figure highlights a significant decrease compared to a total of 3,461 that were charged with DUI in 2017.
The network, however, is reminding that Operation Safeway – which was geared at addressing DUIs – was scaled back during 2018. Therefore, the reduction in random screenings may be an attributing factor in the decrease in reported DUI cases in 2018.
“The DUI data is an indication as to the magnitude of the problems on our roadways, resulting in fatal and serious accidents due to excessive alcohol consumption. Continuous monitoring is needed on our public roadways to ensure that intoxicated drivers are being recognised…these persons need to be enrolled into mandatory treatment and prevention intervention based on their needs,” The report stated.
The development and implementation of the draft Alcohol Policy for Guyana, when approved, will provide a platform for strategic interventions to address this issue, GUYDIN said.
Another major area of concern is women in treatment. According to the network, due to lack of trained personnel and facilities, females with substance use disorders cannot obtain the standard of care they require to conquer this problem.
In addition, the report states that extra emphasis must be placed on persons under the age of 18 as treatment data continues to highlight that this section of the population is using and misusing alcohol and other drugs.