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04.08.2005 Regional News

Day Against Drug Abuse celebrated at Sekondi


Sekondi August 4 -GNA-Mr Philip Kwesi Nkrumah, Shama-Ahanta East Metropolitan Chief Executive, on Thursday said the assembly would support any action aimed at eradicating the abuse and illicit trafficking of narcotic drugs.

This was contained in an address read for him at the celebration of the International Day Against Drug Abuse organised by the Alcoholic Drug Addicts Destitute Rehabilitation Centre at Sekondi.

Mr Nkrumah said the Metropolis, like any other growing city, is plagued by the menace of drugs, which is assuming alarming proportion. He said, "What is more serious about this particular situation is that the dangerous practice does not only involve the elderly but also the youth who are future leaders".

Mr. Nkrumah said it is estimated that 20 percent of the country's students are addicted to narcotic drugs.

He said this state of affairs is of great concern to the Metropolitan Assembly that continuously devotes a chuck of its resources to the development of the health sector which ranks second highest after education in its budgetary allocations.

Mr Nkrumah said if the menace were left unchecked, the Metropolitan Assembly's investment in the health sector would go to waste. He said, "The Assembly recognised that its investments in the health sector would hardly produce the desired impact if drug abuse, which the potential of destroying the health status of the people, continues to be on the increase".

Mr Solomon Stanley Ayo, Deputy Head of the Demand Reduction Unit of the Narcotic Control Board, called on traditional rulers, security agencies, the clergy, educational institutions and parents to complement the government's efforts to eradicate drug abuse, especially among the youth.

He said drug abuse must be controlled if not totally eradicated to make homes, schools, communities and the entire nation a peaceful place to learn and to develop.

Mr Ayo said the problem of drug abuse and illicit trafficking has destructive consequences on the individual, family and the community and has direct bearing on the development of the country. He said the nation cannot prosper, develop and be peaceful if its youth who are future leaders are not peaceful, strong and sound minded.

Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Joseph Agbodjan, Deputy Commander of Narcotic Unit of the Western Regional Police Command, said the Police are able to arrest users, peddlers and couriers of narcotic drugs but the agents and barons are difficult to be identified and arrested. He said this is because of the unwillingness of suspects to lead the Police to the hideout of barons and agents and the hesitation of the public to divulge information.