Early Warning System in Barbados
In 2019 the NCSA established the Early Warning System to detect, test and distribute information on New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) promptly. A Technical Oversight Committee will oversee the reporting, testing and dissemination of information about an NPS. The TOC uses a standard format to report a suspected NPS based on drugs seized or found. Members of the TOC are drawn primarily from agencies preventing drug use and those that curtail the supply of drugs.
A vital member of the TOC is the Forensics Science Centre (FSC). The FSC confirms the identification of narcotics found or seized, provides information on their chemical names, street names and concentration. The FSC also disseminates information on the type of psychoactive substance present and the presence of other substances.
The TOC officers include a Chairman and a Deputy Chairman. To date, the NCSA has made strides to implement an EWS including the hosting of a meeting of representatives of Demand and Supply and Control sectors the establishment of the Technical Oversight Committee (TOC).
From 2020 through 2021, the NCSA participated in several webinars facilitated by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Inter-American Drug Control Commission (CICAD). These webinars allowed the NCSA to gain the professional expertise and resources to detect and monitor an NPS in Barbados.
Covid -19 Pademic
Though the NCSA has made significant progress with the implementaion of the EWS in Barbados, the impact of the Covid -19 pandemic can hinder the functioning of this system. Despite these challenges the NCSA's goal is to have a fully operational EWS by October 2021.