A new trend is emerging in Barbados where drug users are mixing drugs into a single dosage, creating challenges for drug treatment and prevention efforts.

The trend, referred to as polydrug use – with marijuana, cocaine, alcohol and cigarettes being identified as those being mixed by users –, was identified in the just released 2015 Barbados Drug Information Network (BARDIN) report.

Research Assistant at the National Council on Substance Abuse (NCSA), Laura Lee Foster, said polysubstance abuse was now the “front runner”, with fewer persons seeking treatment for either alcohol or marijuana alone.

In fact, she said, statistics captured in the BARDIN report between January 1 and December 31, 2015, indicated that 78.7 per cent of persons receiving substance abuse treatment at the Psychiatric Hospital admitted to using polydrugs.

This, she said, compared with 11.2 per cent who used alcohol only; 7.9 per cent who used marijuana only; and 2.2 per cent who used other drugs, during the same period.

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