This week Team Unity’s weekly programme “Working For You” featured a drug prevention officer discussing drugs and crime in society .

Mr. Newrish Nital, who works as a drug prevention officer at the St. Kitts-Nevis National Council for Drug Prevention Secretariat, discussed the rates of recidivism and its correlation with the use of drugs.

“Recidivism would not be so high if it weren’t for the consumption, misuse and abuse of drugs,” said Mr. Nital.

He further explained that residents at Her Majesty’s Prison are often under the influence of drugs when they are admitted to the institution and at the time of conviction.

Mr. Nital said that the fight to eradicate drug abuse needs to be a collaborative effort among different stakeholders in society, as the effects are felt by everyone.

“If we do not exercise the duties in trying to curb the misuse and abuse of drugs, we will have a void,” he said.

He believes that the use of drugs for some starts as only a hobby, but this can very often lead to addiction.

“I am convinced that there are a lot of persons who utilise marijuana or [other] drugs and do not work and if you do not work and you are trying to get the utility out of a good or service then you have to find some way to get it and this is where our crime rate will be impacted.”

In 2016, there were a total of 1,643 reported crimes in St. Kitts and Nevis. Of these, almost 17% were drug offences.