Student Notices

FSS Social Work Unit One-Day Workshop

Posted Friday, March 17, 2017

The Faculty of Social Sciences (FSS), Department of Behavioural Sciences, Social Work Unit presents a One-Day Workshop on Strategies for the Prevention of Drug Abuse and Trauma amongst Adolescents in Trinidad and Tobago. This is to mark celebrations of FSS at 55 – Shaping Minds, Shaping Lives and World Social Work Day 2017: Promoting Community and Environmental Sustainability.

The workshop takes place March 21 from 9.30am to 3.30pm at FSS Lounge.

About the Workshop

This workshop is conducted as a part of Dr. Emmanuael Janagan’s research on Strategies for the prevention of drug abuse and trauma amongst adolescents in Trinidad and Tobago and is funded by The UWI Campus Research and Publication Fund.


The high use of alcohol and other drugs by students, exacerbated by the apparent easy access to the substances is a cause for serious concern. Recent health surveys suggest high consumption of alcohol amongst 13- 15 year olds show 47.6% of boys and 35.6 % of girls drank two or more drinks per day on the days they drank alcohol.  Worldwide, alcohol use causes 3% of deaths (1.8 million) annually, which is equal to 4% of the global disease burden. Across sub-regions of the world, the proportion of disease burden attributable to alcohol use is greatest in the Americas and Europe ranging from 8% to 18% of total burden for males and 2% to 4% of total burden for females. Besides the direct effects of intoxication and addiction, alcohol use causes about 20 to 30% of each of oesophageal cancer, liver disease, homicide and other intentional injuries, epilepsy, and motor vehicle accidents worldwide, and heavy alcohol use places one at greater risk for cardiovascular disease.

In most countries, alcohol-related mortality is highest among 45- to 54-year-olds, but the relationship between the age of initiation of alcohol use and the pattern of its use and abuse in adulthood makes the study of alcohol consumption among adolescents important. Intentional and unintentional injuries are far more common among youth and young adults. Unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death among 13- to 21-year-olds and many of these injuries are related to alcohol use. Young people who drink are more likely to use tobacco and other drugs and engage in risky sexual behaviour, than those who do not drink. Alcohol can also impair adolescents' psychological development and influence both the school environment and leisure time negatively.

Workshop Objectives

The workshop will seek to:

  • To create awareness of the impact of substance abuse on adolescents who are addicted to smoking, alcohol, marijuana and other prescription drugs
  • To discuss the linkages between substance abuse and trauma in adolescents
  • To identify the signs and symptoms of possible substance abuse
  • Discuss treatment strategies and resources for working adolescents who experience trauma related to substance abuse
  • To enhance the knowledge and practice skills of professional social workers in areas related to trauma and substance abuse

For more information, please contact: Dr Emmanuel Janagan Johnson.PhD,  Lecturer and Coordinator,  Social Work Unit at 662-2002 ext. 85277 or email