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Caribbean Officials Urge Treatment Programs to Combat Drug Abuse

first_imgBy Dialogo March 26, 2012 The Caribbean’s escalating narco-trafficking problem could be alleviated by better treatment programs for addicts, said regional public health consultant Marcus Day. This would also reduce overcrowding in prisons, 60 to 70 percent of whose inmates are locked up for drug possession or petty drug-related crimes. Fueled in part by a crack cocaine explosion since the mid-1980s when traffickers began paying their local surrogates in kind, criminal justice systems across the Caribbean have been flooded with drug cases, said Day, director of St. Lucia’s Caribbean Drug and Alcohol Treatment Institute. “Some drug users engage in criminal behavior to support their drug use. Take away their drug use and their criminality goes away. Other users will be criminals, whether or not they use drugs,” said Day, whose institute was established in 2004. T he real criminals belong in a prison environment where punitive measures are called for, said Day, an advisor to the Association of Caribbean Heads of Corrections and Prison Services. On the other hand, non-violent addicts who feed their addiction through petty theft should be placed in treatment programs and reintegrated — perhaps through a halfway house, he said. “You have to be able to provide people with intervention for where they are [in the cycle of crime and addiction],” said Day. He noted that at least 60 percent of addicts have a concurring psychiatric illness, which makes an even more compelling argument for treatment and prevention programs. “Until you deal with the psychiatric problems, you aren’t getting at the real problem. Drug use is only a symptom.” Official attitudes slowly change across the region In Grenada, officials aimed for a greater balance between prosecution and treatment. But that program ended in 2004 after Hurricane Ivan destroyed the island’s only drug treatment center, said Dave Alexander, director of the Grenada National Council on Drug Control. Since then, magistrates have not had the option of sending petty drug offenders to treatment — and plans to rebuild the treatment center remain up in the air. Alexander said Grenadians find it easy to distinguish between the merely addicted and the true criminal because of the island has only 105,000 inhabitants. “We basically know everybody,” he said. “It’s relatively easy for us to know who is a hardened criminal and who’s just beginning with crime.” In Barbados, as official awareness of the social problems associated with drug addiction grows, magistrates have tended to be more open to treating offenders instead of punishing them, said Jonathan Yearwood, spokesman for the National Council on Substance Abuse. “There has been a movement toward a treatment response so that criminal justice officials have options where to send offenders,” he said. Too much cocaine — everywhere In the mid-1980s, drug traffickers began saturating the Caribbean — formerly only a trade route to the United States and Europe — with more cocaine than could be snorted by relatively affluent users of the powder variety. “I’ve heard of parties in rich neighborhoods where there were literally mounds of cocaine sitting on tables,” said Day. The excess supply gave island-based middlemen the motivation to create a market for a more affordable product. That gave rise to the crisis created by relatively cheap crack cocaine throughout the Caribbean. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, in 2009 between 110,000 and 330,000 people in the Caribbean used cocaine —†about 1.2 percent of the population. That compared to the 440,000 to two million people who used marijuana, said UNODC. Even though the number of crack users is relatively small, that drug has taken a disproportionally high toll on island society due to gun violence and other crimes associated with its trafficking. In St. Kitts & Nevis, for example, the homicide rate now stands at 64 per 100,000 inhabitants — nearly as high as El Salvador’s and way higher than Guatemala’s, said UNODC. Treating drug victims rather than punishing them On the whole, the response by authorities has been long on criminal justice and short on public health, said Day, creating circumstances where cycles of addiction and criminality go unbroken. That leads to soaring crime rates, which feed social unrest, he said. “We need models of therapeutic communities with good strong integration programs that put into place social supports,” said Day. While proponents of prevention and treatment have had a hard time selling their point of view to a public unwilling to be “soft on crime,” a bitter irony is that on some islands, addicts get locked up while dealers higher up in the drug-running hierarchy — who don’t necessarily use drugs themselves — often go unpunished because of corruption and economic clout. Poverty is another contributing factor to addiction among kids who sometimes feel they have nothing else to live for, said Day. He said a reduction in foreign assistance to the Eastern Caribbean has translated into a corresponding cutback in social services, helping to create a cauldron of social and economic problems in which addiction can breed. Another obstacle to rehabilitation, said Day, is the lack of a substitute for cocaine of either the powder or crack variety. In short, said the expert, a focus on rehabilitation requires offering alternatives to addicts. “Our job,” he said, “is to keep people alive until they can help themselves.” Drug,alcohol is destroy our hope.Nice bloglast_img read more

Marketing lessons your credit union can learn from Snoop Dogg

first_imgHe has never won a Grammy. In fact, he has never managed to receive a single nomination for Best Rap Album. Hell, Puff Daddy was able to win the damn thing! So why should we look to the “D-O-double-G” for marketing advice? Because awards aren’t everything. Success is.At 44 years old, Snoop has about $145 million in the bank. He can charge upwards of $100k per concert. He is preparing to feature in his 36th (yes, 36th) feature film — a sequel to Straight Outta Compton. Unlike his rapper counterparts, he hasn’t sold any companies but he has managed to attain something much more impressive than a spot in the Billionaire Rappers Club— he’s attained permanent cultural relevancy. How has he done it? What can you learn from him?Bringing it to MarketStrategy, mainly collaboration with different artists, is fast becoming Snoop’s go-to way to gain attention from followers. How often do you launch a new product or service, with little notice or fanfare, only to be disappointed six months later when members are still acting surprised about this great new thing you’re offering?  Smaller credit unions should pay particularly close attention to partnering with others, especially since “Snoop Dogg marketing” costs few dollars and only needs some elbow grease to get going.An example of this is the “Great Gas Giveaway” we helped organize with about a dozen marketers and the South Carolina Credit Union League. We announced free gas to the first 100 people who showed up at a particular gas station. We tipped the media off the evening before to have almost every media outlet in town covering the event and talking about this great thing the local credit unions were doing. For $2,000 in gas money, we earned over $50,000 in free press for the Credit Unions of South Carolina. What new product or service are you offering that needs some free press, and a lot of it?Leverage the Big DoggsThere is no other rapper better at leveraging other people for marketing than Snoop Dogg. After rapping for more than 20 years, nobody has been able to match his hustle or work with as many people. Snoop Dogg has been featured on more songs than any other rapper. By collaborating with other musical artists of various genres, Snoop can introduce his music to people who would have never listened to him in the first place. What a creative way to find new fans!Often times, when we’re looking to increase member-growth at one of our credit unions, we’ll choose a well-organized non-profit organization with a huge following. Then we present a collaborative promotion to them. It could be as simple as “for every auto loan we do in X month, we’ll donate $25 to your organization.” The catch? We ask the non-profit to promote this to their followers and supporters as well. You could easily replace auto loans with new memberships, checking accounts, or debit card swipes. The important thing is to expose new eyes to your brand by associating it with something positive.How can you sum up Snoop’s successful marketing idea? “The best marketing tactic is not to ask, but to give.” Stop begging for auto loans or new members. Start collaborating and giving. Soon you’ll start receiving. 56SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Bo McDonald Bo McDonald is president of Your Marketing Co. A marketing firm that started serving credit unions nearly a decade ago, offering a wide range of services including web design, branding, … Web: yourmarketing.co Detailslast_img read more

National Association of Caterers: It is unfair that caterers who have operated in accordance with all prescribed measures are punished for omissions in several clubs

first_imgThe National Association of Caterers on the eve of the upcoming weekend, on the occasion of the latest decision of the Civil Protection Headquarters on limiting the working hours of bars, calls on all caterers to, as always, adhere to all measures and recommendations prescribed by the epidemiological services and the Headquarters. “It is unfair that today caterers who operated in accordance with all prescribed measures, as well as the entire region without increasing the number of infected, such as Istria and Kvarner, are punished for omissions in several clubs. We oppose the limitation of working hours, as the bars include too many restaurants, ranging from quiet cafe bars on the beach in Istria to the largest clubs on the Adriatic. Our suggestion is that each club or other facility specified as a hotspot be immediately temporarily closed for 14 days with testing of all employees”, Says Marin Medak, president of the National Association of Caterers. A big problem of Croatian bars is the high value added tax, which is calculated on the service of drinks and beverages at a rate of 25 percent, to which the local government most often adds a consumption tax. At the same time, in the Mediterranean countries, drinks and beverages are taxed at significantly lower VAT rates, and some countries are now cutting up to 5% VAT in catering due to the coronavirus epidemic and subsidizing the consumption of citizens in catering facilities.  However, accepting the epidemiological reality, the Association must emphasize that the decision was made without respecting the hospitality profession and the specifics of the work of a wide category of diverse facilities that fall under the bars.  The National Association of Caterers makes its professional capacities available to the Civil Protection Headquarters and calls for dialoguecenter_img As always, the National Association of Caterers makes its professional capacities available to the Civil Protection Headquarters and calls for dialogue with the aim of preserving the health of Croatian citizens and the business of economic entities. For the caterers, these ten days of working time restrictions will not mean too much, most of us have already failed financially, Medak points out and adds: “We are facing a catastrophe for caterers and a tragedy for their employees, mostly young people who will look for their happiness outside Croatia after losing their jobs. The only chance to survive and look forward to the next season, which may be better, is to speed up the lending to caterers for liquidity through HBOR and HAMAG BICRO and to enable us to make that money through a lower VAT rate on beverages we will return in the future”, Concludes Medak.  The National Association of Caterers also called for more frequent inspections and penalties for caterers who do not adhere to epidemiological measures, as such caterers harm the public health and business of all those who consistently implement the measures. last_img read more