Drug abuse among the youth in Ghana// HRM. Eze Dr. Chukuwdi Ihenetu
Drug abuse is becoming a serious problem. The course of the alarming rate of the abuse especially among the youth can be traced to the high unemployment among the youth, the frustration of highly qualified students not having access for further education and the general economic situation in the country.
Marijuana has been identified as the major drug of abuse among the youth in Ghana. The age of incidence of abuse of marijuana is relatively low, 10 -18 years and experimentation has been found to be the main reason for the start of the abuse.
According to HRM. Eze Dr. Chukuwdi Ihenetu Globalization has fueled the spread of substance abuse and therefore the cost is felt universally. Drug abuse was once seen as a marginalized threat to society, however, it is now seen as a threat to the very existence of families, communities and nations as a whole.
He said, Drug addiction has the potential to undermine public health, social and economic development, community cohesion and in general the future of the next generation.
The damage upon the lives and communities cannot be underestimated. The damage can be in the form of debilitating health effects such as TB, Hepatitis B among others.
Illicit trafficking also fuels money laundering and corruption which is a great enabler of trade and terrorism. On the economic front, it has the potential to wipe out the livelihood of families especially if these substance abusers are the breadwinners in the home, we can also talk about the security threats posed by these habits; these include stealing, gun violence and armed robbery.
According to HRM. Eze Dr. Chukuwdi Ihenetu the world drug report of 2018, it is estimated that about 275 million people worldwide which is about 5.6% of the world’s population aged between 15- 64 use drugs.
Ghana like many other countries are facing a growing substance abuse problem, though obtaining accurate data remains a challenge, the youth are the most affected.
According to the drug news, a quarterly report on the drug abuse menace in West Africa, an estimated 1.25 million Ghanaians are thought to be having problems with substance abuse, mostly marijuana. Other substances that have found its way into our society include Cocaine, Heroine, Methamphetamines, and other synthetic opioids such us tramadol, codeine among others.
A recent school health survey by the Ghana Health Service in conjunction with the World Health Organization showed that 23 per cent of Ghanaian school pupils had tasted drugs at least once.
According to the Narcotics control board of Ghana, there are over 70,000 illicit substance abusers in Ghana within the age of 15- to 30 years. (NACOB, 2014;) the WDR 2018, also sighted Ghana as one of the highest consuming countries of tramadol as a recreational drug. This statistic is startling as it depicts a gloomy future for the youth in Ghana.
The story by Fada Amakye from Daily Sun106.com