The HCC and the Caribbean Institute on Alcoholism and other Drug Problems (CARIAD) have just signed an MOU aimed at strengthening Caribbean civil society alcohol advocacy capacity through the online platform CARIBAPAN – The Caribbean Alcohol and Policy Action Network. CARIAD has been at the forefront of alcohol and drug abuse prevention and treatment since 1975, through its annual basic and advanced training programmes.
The major thrust of CARIAD is to equip professionals and other workers to function effectively in roles related to alcohol and drug abuse prevention and treatment, through education, skills training and policy promotion. Students have included not just professionals in health and social services, but also law enforcement professionals, ministry officials and policy-makers, educators, members of the clergy, and trade unionists.
The CARIAD faculty, recruited from the Caribbean and North America, is multidisciplinary; and through an ongoing professional partnership, includes experts from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, Canada.
Graduates of CARIAD are accredited by the Open Campus of the University of the West Indies. Over the years CARIAD has gained an international reputation for its excellence. Since its inception, over 2,600 participants from 26 countries throughout the Caribbean region have been trained. By training Caribbean professionals who have led out in treatment, prevention and policy making, CARIAD has actively contributed to reducing alcohol and drug related harm, and combatting the scourge of alcohol and drug abuse. In virtually all English-speaking Caribbean countries, leadership in the area of alcohol and drug abuse is provided by faculty and graduates of CARIAD. Because of its tremendous impact, at the Conference of Ministers of Health of CARICOM countries in 1974, CARIAD was endorsed as the vehicle for alcoholism training in the Caribbean Region. Later, in response to a CARICOM Ministers’ Resolution in 1980, the Institute expanded its scope to include all psychoactive substances. In 2000, CARICOM renewed its endorsement of CARIAD, this time for training in relation to drugs in general. CARIAD continues to be a unique and valuable programme, a relevant and important programme to the Caribbean region.