Ministerial Fraternity - West Jamaica Conference Joins Forces with the National Council on Drug Abuse for Training

  •   Mrs. Shadeka Haye-Campbell
  •  Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Members of the West Jamaica Conference (WJC) Ministerial Fraternity are now trained to screen and refer drug abusers for treatment. This after completing a thirteen-hour training course administered by the National Council on Drug Abuse (NCDA) from Wednesday, July 28 to Thursday, July 29, 2021. The NCDA in Jamaica is a voluntary non-profit organization vested as the body empowered to formulate and develop plans and projects for the prevention of drug abuse, its abatement and rehabilitation of drug-abuse victims.

The training sessions focused on the local context of drug use in Jamaica as well as Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) Method. This will allow counselors, physicians, and other professionals to assess the severity of substance use and identify an appropriate level of treatment.

Pastor Vencot Dyer, President of the WJC Ministerial Fraternity shared that the training was well needed as Pastors operate as community leaders and are some of the first points of contact for drug abusers seeking help.
“We recognized a high level of substance abuse in our communities and it poses a real challenge nationally and globally. As community leaders, I believe we need to be equipped to help persons who are substance abusers and be able to refer them to other professionals for proper treatment”.

Eastern Regional Manager of the NCDA, Damion Scott, was grateful for the opportunity to work with the Church in reaching those struggling with addiction.
“I am extremely overjoyed for the partnership because the engagement of faith-based organizations in the prevention of substance misuse is welcomed under the umbrella of what we call a self-regulatory protective factor. . .The Church enforces certain moral and ethical viewpoints which serve as a guide for most people and we are glad to know that the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Church is in the business of educating and reaching communities”.

Collette Kirlew, Director of Client Services at the NCDA, who was also present at the training expressed her views on the role of the church in the fight against drug abuse in Jamaica.
“The first thing is to be informed. Get training for pastors, Lay-Preachers, counselors and other key personnel within the organization and help them to be more knowledgeable about substance abuse and how it can be prevented. After receiving the necessary training, you can now go into the communities and help to stem the flow of the problematic substance use”.

She also commended the Fraternity for participating in the initiative.
“I want to congratulate the Ministerial Fraternity of WJC for being the first denominational organization in Jamaica for training for its Pastors. It takes vision and wisdom to do that and I thank you for getting the ball rolling and paving the way for other denominations”, Kirlew ended.

Regional Manager of the NCDA, Clifton Morris expressed appreciation for the partnership.
“We here at the NCDA are appreciative of this partnership. Our offices can connect with your churches in the Western Region so we can serve others more and to work together to achieve a common goal”, said Clifton Morris, Regional Manager of the NCDA.

Upon completion of the training, all participants were awarded with an official Certificate of Participation from the National Council on Drug Abuse.

If you are seeking help for yourself or someone you know, feel free to contact the NCDA at 876-564-(HELP) 4357.

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