25.06.2004 General News

Equip Police, CEPS to meet sophistication of drug trade

25.06.2004 LISTEN

Kumasi, June 25, GNA - The Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana has called on the government to equip the Police, Customs, Excise and Preventive Service and the Ghana Immigration Service with the necessary logistics to effectively deal with the increasing sophistication of the illicit drug business.

Mr Frank Boateng, national president of the Society, said this has become urgent, since the country was no longer just a transit point of hard drugs but a consuming one. He was addressing a press conference held by the Society at the SSNIT Conference Hall in Kumasi on Friday to mark the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Trafficking, which falls on Saturday, June 26.

The theme for this year's celebration is: "Treatment Really Works". Mr Boateng lauded the security agencies for their relentless war against the menace in the society and asked for more public support and collaboration. "We all need to redouble our efforts in the fight against this problem. We must resist the temptation to assume that the drugs problem is too far away from us". He drew attention to the direct link between hard drugs use and increase in crime wave and violence, saying, "it is established that 50 per cent of crimes and thefts in some countries are committed by addicts to support their habits".

Mr Boateng appealed for the establishment of more rehabilitation centres for treatment of those hooked to drugs. "It is only fair that they are separated and managed differently from other people with psychiatric problems", he added. The national president said the Society had noted with satisfaction the singular effort at rehabilitating the country's addicts by the Catholic Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), "Rhema" and paid glowing tribute to the organisation. He also touched on the misuse of several other pharmaceutical preparations by many Ghanaians, citing their unjustifiable demand for antibiotics and so-called sleeping tablets, thinking, these were answers to sleeplessness, inability to eat or perform other functions. This, he said often resulted in their hospitalisation in critical conditions.

Mr Boateng said the Society was ready to offer its expertise and time to assist to embark on a nationwide crusade against both narcotic and medicinal drug abuse and asked the media to help focus more attention on the problem.

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