Marina House Media Launch

8th December, 2014


Women who have problems with addiction will soon have a facility to meet their needs. Marina House was launched as a safe haven for these women who are an extremely vulnerable group and are a key target area for support from The Maria Holder Memorial Trust.

There is currently no residential rehabilitation facility in Barbados for women despite earlier efforts to link it to Verdun House.
It is therefore timely that this media launch at which Minister of Health, The Honourable. John Boyce was the Featured Speaker, highlighted the collaboration between The Maria Holder Memorial Trust and the Substance Abuse Foundation to fill an acute need for a substance abuse facility for women in Barbados.

Hosting the Media Launch held at Verdun House in St. John, Jane Armstrong, Chief Project Manager for The Trust stated: “The overall objective of the project is to establish a rehabilitation facility for women suffering from substance abuse and addiction so that this severe problem can be addressed and, women in addiction, and their families will have a greater chance to a normal life.”
The partnership forged to establish Marina House, underscores the effectiveness of the current addiction programme at Verdun House. Norman Barrow, Chairman and Co-Founder of The Substance Abuse Foundation (SAF), asserted, “The Foundation offers the best and most recognised addiction programme on the island and the only one to have international accreditation.”

Chairman of The Maria Holder Memorial Trust, Christopher Holder, lauded the SAF for their sterling work and reaffirmed the Trust’s commitment to the establishment of this programme: “This will fulfill a need for Barbados, where it seems to be very unfair that at present women cannot benefit from a residential addiction programme. This project could make a significant impact on the lives of many women and their families.” He also said how happy he was to name the centre after his late sister Marina.

Celebrating a vision turned reality, Peter Boos, CEO and Co-Founder of SAF revealed: “For some years the SAF have been seeking a suitable property with close proximity to Verdun House for easy administration.” He also exposed a disturbing situation stating that since the early days of Verdun House the number of women in addiction has grown significantly and has put a large number of families at very high risk.

There are no specific statistics on the extent of the addiction problem in the female population. However, both the National Council on Substance Abuse and the Psychiatric Hospital have noted that the number of women seeking help has grown alarmingly. The launch of Marina House can prove to be a significant factor in arresting this trend.

The components of this project are the purchase and refurbishment of the facility in St John, along with the outfitting costs of furniture, equipment, appliances and a dedicated vehicle. The Trust will also fund the programming costs for the facility for one year

About The Substance Abuse Foundation

The Substance Abuse Foundation Inc. (SAF) is a registered charity of Barbados, established in 1996 to fight the harmful impact of illicit drugs and alcohol on the shattered lives of citizens and their families in Barbados and the wider Caribbean. It was formed by a number of socially-aware and committed men and women who recognised the urgent need to help these victims with appropriate professional rehabilitation in an enabling environment that meets internationally accepted standards of accommodation and treatment.

The SAF was established Verdun House in June 2000. Today, it is a leading internationally accredited health institution in the Caribbean, providing critical intervention and recovery services to persons suffering with the disease of addiction. Verdun House is an all-male residential treatment facility, accredited by EATA (European Association for the Treatment of Addictions) as of 21 August 2009.

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