||Last Updated: Feb 6, 2017 - 2:32:04 PM
Fourteen years into the third millennium, in 2014, we are still struggling to get a handle multiple and serious effects of the nefarious drug trade and drug use and addiction in our small nation. We continue to lose a large number of our beloved citizens as a consequence of the ravages of the illicit drug trade. Directly associated with this deadly trade, high powered weapons and ammunition continue to pour in through our porous borders. A vendetta justice prevails as individuals not only kill their competitors, but even those already charged with murder and out on bail, find themselves death victims of street justice.
The death, near death, maimed and wounded counts continue to climb, while our law enforcement agencies are at their wits end to find a solution to this demise of so many of our young men. Simultaneously, with the ever increasing numbers of the unemployed, competition gets stiffer and stiffer, as many succumb to any means to eke out a living. Unconscionable drug lords rule the turf and they compete for available dollars in a depressed economy.
Hundreds of our nation’s youth linger in the Fox Hill jail; others, having had their minds genetically altered by the invasion of foreign and brain devouring substances, are spending the most productive period of their lives in the Mental Health sector, psychologically debilitated. Still others have been lost (killed) abroad, or forgotten in foreign jails, in attempting to carry out their nefarious trade. Still others succumb to the ravages of opportunistic diseases associated with drug addiction, and, very often, take with them other loved ones with whom they have shared intimacy.
This devastating toll on our young population, mainly males, has also left numerous other individuals, namely family members, bereft of love ones and familial support. Yet, day by day, day in and day out, in spite of this widespread corrosion of life among our young men, more and more of them are drawn into this destructive and pernicious trade. Their quest for wealth is spurred on by relentless greed and instant gratification. Yet, there is no doubt that those who persist in this trade and illicit activity will eventually end up by being rewarded with premature death or long-term deprivation of freedom.
Now, on the horizon dawns another challenge, as state by state, in North America, are about to legalize and decriminalize marijuana, which is presently the drug of trade and choice in our small nation. Its widespread availability has been facilitated by home production; no longer does it have to arrive into the country from the south. With local production on the increase and the inevitable increase in users to the north, we certainly are in for an even greater challenge on all fronts. Additionally, by the end of this year Jamaica to the south will be abandoning legal action against the production and use of the herb. To further worsen the situation, our nation, it has been reported, will be looking into facilitating the medical use of marijuana.
Over the years, on a persistent basis, the National Drug Council and numerous other co-partnering organizations, have done an excellent job in bringing to our communities ever increasing knowledge and awareness of the harms associated with substance use and abuse. Schools across the nation have toiled arduously to teach life surviving skills to assist students in making healthy choices in their lives. They have also encouraged the young to get involved in after-school programs and activities as alternatives to the destructive consequences of drug use and abuse. Parental involvement, even though lacking in some instances, has been a key factor by enabling many to cope with the stress of daily life and peer pressure.
Our drug use and abuse education and prevention efforts would be significantly enhanced with a much greater focus by our official government funding agency. At present, the lion’s share of resources are allocated in the battle of interdiction and law enforcement. Just a minuscule amount is allocated for efforts dealing with the fortification of our citizenry, especially the young, against the invasion of drug use and abuse. Thus many of the programs, proven successful in pass, lie dormant due to lack of resources and qualified personnel to operate them. But, for the little that we do get, we are most grateful. Added to that is the usual generous donation from the United States Embassy, Narcotics Division, to execute specific programs.
As a nation, inclusive of all sectors and levels, we are in dire need of that state of awareness which will bring into our hearing consciousness, the voice from deep within our hearts. These hearts then must resonate with intense compassion for the restoration of our people and the salvation of our young. It is not only the responsibility, but also the glorious privilege of everyone to share in this mission.
We are all called to create a ground swell, a tsunami, which will sweep our country into a more productive, life-giving stream, desperately needed to save our little nation from plunging deeper into the quagmire of total social deterioration. This holistic approach need not be a laborious one; it is one that must speak to the hearts of our people, bringing them back into synchronization with divine and angelic essence which is so richly and naturally ours.
With “Make Health your New High in Life, Not Drugs,” the dynamic theme for the Bahamas National Drug Council month, we appeal especially to the young to search into the purity of their hearts and listen clearly to that voice of divine wisdom whispering to them about their own divinity and how to preserve it, as well as to foster it in every other person. Their precious young hearts are pulsing with the energy of their angelic qualities, readily available to bring light, love and nurturing to everyone. The young can especially correct this state of affairs, as we enhance their ability to recognize their unique place in society, as being necessary, indispensable and a God-given gift. They are the ones who will create the foundation for the type of society which can welcome and establish the coming of “God’s Kingdom on Earth.”
About the Author:
Darville is a native of Long Island, Bahamas and a resident of
Freeport, Grand Bahama. He is the founding member and past president of
the Bahamas Counselor's Association; past president of the Bahamas
Mental Health Association and the Grand Bahama Mental Health
Association; founding member and past president, and presently
Vice-President, of the Grand Bahama Humane Rights Association; founding
member and presently co-chairman of the Bahamas National Drug Council; a
founding member of the Caribbean Human Rights Network; past VP of the
Caribbean Federation of Mental Health; founding member and chairman of
Operation Hope, [volunteer drug prevention, education &
rehabilitation program]; and an administrative VP of the Freeport YMCA.
Joseph is a past VP of the Bahamas Union of Teachers and taught at the
St. Augustine's College in Nassau as well as at Queens' College, where
he was also a guidance counselor; principal of Grand Bahama Catholic
High School from 1977-1997. He is an advanced master/teacher in Reiki
training, a natural energy healing method, as well as a teacher of
Transcendental Meditation. He has received many awards for outstanding
service and achievement in teaching, communication, and citizenship,
including the 25th year of independence Commonwealth of the Bahamas
Citizen’s Award. He now serves as a director of the Coalition to Save
The Bays, and presently Board Chairman for the Grand Bahama Humane
Society. Joseph is married to Melanie and they have two children, and
two grand children. Joseph can be reached at
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