The Department of National Drug Control (DNDC) is set to launch a new survey to gauge Mr and Mrs Joe Public’s perception of the misuse and illegal substance abuse of controlled drugs in Bermuda.

A Green Paper is being drafted to find ways to reduce drug abuse and increase rehabilitation. The document is anticipated to be completed by July.

Michael Weeks, Minister of Social Development & Sports

Minister of Social Development, Michael Weeks said for any approach “to be effective and lead to a solution for drug-abuse related problems”, in Bermuda, “it needs to be comprehensive, multidisciplinary, and well-balanced”.

It was also noted that policymakers will be given information related to drug control infrastructure; the drug situation in Bermuda; public perception on substance misuse and abuse; policy and legislative framework; and areas of priority.

“Such an approach must be based on robust nationwide and inter-agency collaboration at all levels,” said Mr Weeks.

“This Paper represents an important step forward in addressing the challenges presented to us concerning substance misuse and abuse in Bermuda.

“The Green Paper, along with other publications of the DNDC, will provide a clear body of evidence that speaks to the way forward for drug control in Bermuda,” he added.

The policy paper is a follow through on the Progressive Labour Party’s Throne Speech promise and the Minister invited all members of the public to get involved and be a part of the process.

The information-gathering process has already started and will run through to April 20.

And in the weeks ahead, the DNDC will host one-on-one meetings with a host of individuals, including government officials and members of local community and sports groups.

Young people will also be engaged to air their views in focus groups, including individuals in recovery, relatives and friends of recovering addicts and the people who are still battling substance abuse and addiction.

The Department has also extended an open invitation for anyone wishing to share their opinion on reducing substance abuse and increasing rehabilitation in Bermuda, to email the DNDC at [email protected], or call 292-3049 by April 20, 2018.