BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Mar 27, CMC – Barbados has recorded its first case of methamphetamine (meth) and health authorities are warning members of the public to avoid the drug at all costs since it could lead to their death.
Methamphetamine, a strong and highly addictive drug, is a potent central nervous system (CNS) stimulant that is mainly used as a recreational drug and less commonly as a second-line treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and obesity
Home Affairs and Information Minister, Wilfred Abrahams, who confirmed the presence of the on the island, described meth as a “serious situation” that is of great concern to the authorities.
Abrahams flanked by the Director of Forensic Sciences Centre (FSC), Cheryl Corbin; Senior Registrar at the Psychiatric Hospital, Dr. Ronald Chase, and Senior Superintendent of Police, Anthony Warner, said the drug “takes the form of a white odourless, bitter-tasting crystalline powder that easily dissolves in water or in alcohol.
“Meth is extremely harmful,” Abrahams said, reiterating that it was also illegal.
He said that meth acts like a stimulant, and even in small doses, could increase wakefulness, physical activity, and can decreased appetite. In addition, the drug is also known to cause cardiovascular problems, including rapid heart rate, irregular heartbeat, and increased blood pressure.
It can also lead to hypothermia (elevated body temperature), convulsions, and violent behaviour. In cases of an overdose, if not treated immediately, persons are likely to die.
However, Abrahams pointed out that meth use and its misuse went beyond the devastating effects on individual health, as it also impacted poor communities, causing new waves of crime, unemployment, child neglect or abuse, and other social problems.
Senior Superintendent Warner said while there were “some challenges with border security” and the police were doing their best to identify the sources, the routes and trends that people would employ to get the drugs into the country.
He noted that as recently as March 15, a quantity of meth was intercepted in San Juan en route from Canada to Barbados. He said that Barbados would be seen as a transshipment point to move drugs from the source country to the intended country
“Any information, regardless of how small or insignificant you might think that information is, it might be the one piece that we need to fit into a bigger picture to solve the problem that we have,” the Senior Superintendent said.