The Mass Reunion Choir held a webinar on Sunday November 12th, under the topic “Addictions - Real Talk” hosted by Nathelyn Lacroix, Public Health Nutritionist. The online event brought together a number of individuals seeking to gain insights into the world of addictions.

The panel of guest speakers included Vanessa Miller Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Dr. Wendy Fernander Licensed Clinical Phycologist, and Dr. Marvin Smith President of The Bahamas Pharmaceutical Association. Together, they explored various factors that contribute to addiction, bringing light to issues such as the early introduction to pharmaceutical drugs.

Vanessa Miller emphasized preventive measures which can lead to early intervention and awareness in preventing addiction.

Miller said, "It is well known that many people have a genetic predisposition to addictions. There are people who after the first alcoholic beverage are addicted to alcohol. So it is very important to know your family history. And in The Bahamas sometimes families don't talk; certain topics are taboo."   

Dr. Wendy Fernander explained that, while the adverse effects of substance abuse can be physical, there are physiological issues that often follow.

Fernander said, "Often times all the gatherings and everything that we have, alcohol is there. One of the effects of alcohol use is high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and also for psychiatric disorders as well, depression and anxiety. So we know that alcohol affects us in numerous different ways."    

Dr. Marvin Smith stressed the importance of broadening our social circles beyond immediate family and friends. He urged attendees to seek partnerships with like-minded individuals, to help make a meaningful impact in combating addiction.

Smith said, "Sometimes we get so caught up in our own little circles at church that the only friends that we have are Adventists, the only people that we hang out with are Adventists, we only deal with our families at our own little church, we don't even go to other Adventist churches to find friends. So it's hard sometimes for us to understand that the engagement that the church must have in the country must be where we can partner with other church on things we know we can agree on..."  

The webinar proved to be informative for all who attended, offering valuable insights into the nature of addiction. It is our hope that the attendees will practice what they have learnt, and seek to share it with others.