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October 2015 will herald a new beginning of healing and restoration for women in Barbados. That’s when the first residential rehabilitation facility will open its doors in Barbados for women who have problems with substance abuse and addiction.

In the final step towards opening its doors, The Maria Holder Memorial Trust recently handed over the keys for the completely renovated Marina House to the Substance Abuse Foundation. It signaled another significant achievement of this key partnership to help women in addiction and their families have a better chance of a normal life.

Marina House is named after the sister of Christopher Holder, and wife of Chesterfield Brewster, the Founders of The Maria Holder Memorial Trust. As a collaboration between The Maria Holder Memorial Trust and the Substance Abuse Foundation, this facility will fill an acute need for a residential substance abuse facility for women in Barbados. Since the early days of Verdun House, a facility for men, the number of women in addiction has grown significantly and has put a large population of children and families at very high risk.

Therefore, the partnership forged to establish Marina House, underscores the effectiveness of the current addiction programme at Verdun House which offers the best and most recognised addiction programme on the island and the only one to have international accreditation. Given this track record, it is anticipated that Marina House will offer the same excellent standards and reap similar success.

While there are no specific statistics on the extent of the addiction problem in the female population in Barbados, both the National Council on Substance Abuse and the Psychiatric Hospital have noted that the number of women seeking help has grown alarmingly. The opening of Marina House in October is therefore expected to change this situation and provide much needed statistics to guide strategic and targeted interventions to assist in prevention and rehabilitation efforts.

The Maria Holder Memorial Trust will fund the programming costs for the facility for one year. The Trust has also supported the Substance Abuse Foundation on several components of this project including the purchase and refurbishment of the facility in St  John, along with the outfitting costs of furniture, equipment, appliances and a dedicated vehicle.

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