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Stakeholders urged to fight against illicit drug usage

Accra, July 26, GNA- Mr Enoch Opare Mintah, Executive Director of GH ICT Skills Hub Foundation, (GISH Foundation) a non-governmental organisation, has urged stakeholders to take a look into the menace of youth abuse and addiction to drugs.

Accra, July 26, GNA- Mr Enoch Opare Mintah, Executive Director of GH ICT Skills Hub Foundation, (GISH Foundation) a non-governmental organisation, has urged stakeholders to take a look into the menace of youth abuse and addiction to drugs.

   He said the situation is alarming and government needs to accordingly help to raise a red card against the canker.

   Mr Mintah was speaking at the launch of I Stand against Girls in Drugs, Senior High School (SHS) Campaign in Accra, an educational intervention aimed at recruiting and educating girls at the SHS level about the rippling effects of the use of drugs and its threats.

    He said because the peak of SHS education is critical to the decisions and moulding process of the girls, it is necessary as their future aspirations, overall wellbeing, social acceptance, reproductive health and related issues depend on it.

   Thus, this would serve as the dais to equip them to make informed decisions to better their lives.

   He said it is sad for Ghana, that students at the Junior High Schools (JHS) and SHS have long before now, been initiated into levels of engagements with marijuana, cocaine, alcohol, heroin and other illicit drugs.

    The issue had been worsened by the involvement of girls who are the future seed bearers of the nation, which is endangering their lives and the future of the country, he stated.

    The Executive Director indicated that majority of research conducted by individuals and institutions shows that drug usage and abuse are not just considered as a social and health problem but as a productive, economic, financial, cultural and developmental issue, which needs to be addressed.

   This was because drug use and abuse goes beyond family shame and social stigmatisation as it is consuming and wasting the time, resource base, especially of the able-bodied youth in Ghana and around the world, he said.

       He said the issue of the youth using some of these drugs as aphrodisiacs is also the reason which had led to the escalation of the situation.

      He added that statistics from the Narcotics Control Board as of 2014 also revealed, that about 50,000 people in Ghana, particularly the youth were into drug usage and abuse.

     It showed that out of the total number of 50,000 drug users, 35,000 were students from JHS and SHS as well as tertiary institution from 12 – 35 years hence it is important something is done to avert it.

    “We cannot throw our hands in despair and watch the youth to perish under the yoke of illicit drugs because the activity has gained roots in communities and has become difficult to handle”.

     He said the time has therefore come for government and institutions to stand and put in interventions that places checks on alcoholic beverage producing companies, drugs manufacturers as well as the media to write the wrongs.
 

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