BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, 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, an intense and highly addictive drug, is a potent central nervous system (CNS) stimulant 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 on the island, described meth as a “serious situation” 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 odorless, bitter-tasting crystalline powder that easily dissolves in water or alcohol.
“Meth is extremely harmful,” Abrahams said, reiterating that it was illegal.
He said that meth acts like a stimulant and, even in small doses, could increase wakefulness and physical activity and decrease 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 behavior. In cases of an overdose, if not treated immediately, persons are likely to die.
However, Abrahams pointed out that meth use and its misuse exceeded the devastating effects on individual health. It also impacted poor communities, causing new waves of crime, unemployment, child neglect or abuse, and other social problems.
Senior Superintendent Warner said there were “some challenges with border security,” The police were doing their best to identify the sources, 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 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 our problem,” the Senior Superintendent said.