SPADAI at San Pedro High School’s drug fair
SPADAI – Working towards addressing the problems of Drug Abuse on the Island
The tiny fishing village of San Pedro has seen much growth since it became a town in 1984. With this growth came a booming economy, the advent of the Tourism Industry and an increase in the population to an estimated 20,000.
Along with these advances, of which many have proven to be quite positive, it is expected that there come some negatives. One of the most obvious or more visible, would be that of alcohol abuse here on the island. San Pedro is home to dozens of restaurants, bars, night clubs and stores – all licensed to sell alcohol.
With all these establishments catering to the needs of both visitors and residents alike, one would expect that there would be some sort of system in place that would combat the irrefutable effects of substance abuse on the island. As we walk around town, the effect of alcohol abuse is apparent in the individuals we see who are publically intoxicated on the streets on a daily basis. With many families torn by the addiction of a loved one, this substance has now managed to seep its way through the school systems and has reached our children, threatening to destroy their very future.
This year, San Pedro High School (SPHS) took a very brave initiative, hosting their first ever Drug Awareness week. As part of that week, the San Pedro Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute (SPADAI) was invited to hold a presentation at the school on Friday December 7th. Held at the end of the week, the day-long drug fair consisted of presentations that were led by recovered drug addicts, members of the Anti Drug Unit (ADU) and representatives from the various groups fighting to combat drug abuse on the island.
Freddie Gonzalez – Vice Chair of SPADAI spoke to The San Pedro Sun about their cause and their participation in SPHS’s Drug Awareness Week. “Our organization came into play when we couldn’t figure out how to help these young individuals who came to the traditional Alcohol Anonymous (AA) meetings.We had a person that came to us that really needed help, however we didn’t have the facilities to provide the care required. This is where SPADAI was born.”
The group is in the process of acquiring funding for a physical facility to be built on a plot of land south of town, towards the San Pedro Marina. The facility will provide rehabilitation services for individuals suffering from the various types of addictions on the island as well as serve as a “Go To” place for abused mothers as well as youth facing trials.
Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos in the San Pedro Sun