Kenneth Adu-Amanfoh (3rd from right), Director-General, Narcotics Control Commission, being assisted by Charles Abani (middle), Resident Coordinator, UN System in Ghana; Delese Darko (right), Chief Executive Officer, Food And Drugs Authority; Cheikh Toure (2nd from left), Head, Law Enforcement Section, UNODC Regional Representative for West and Central Africa, and some dignitaries at the launch of the report in Accra. Picture: ELVIS NII NOI DOWUONA
Kenneth Adu-Amanfoh (3rd from right), Director-General, Narcotics Control Commission, being assisted by Charles Abani (middle), Resident Coordinator, UN System in Ghana; Delese Darko (right), Chief Executive Officer, Food And Drugs Authority; Cheikh Toure (2nd from left), Head, Law Enforcement Section, UNODC Regional Representative for West and Central Africa, and some dignitaries at the launch of the report in Accra. Picture: ELVIS NII NOI DOWUONA

International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking commemorated: Support law enforcement agencies to deal with drug abuse — President

Support law enforcement agencies in fight against drug abuse, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has urged citizens.

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He described the dimensions and impact of drug trafficking as intensive, extensive and complex, which requires collaborative efforts to address. "I wish to extend a clarion call to citizens; civil society organisations (CSOs), faith-based organisations (FBOs), traditional authorities and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to lend support to law enforcement agencies in the fight against the drug canker," the President added.

President Akufo-Addo, whose speech was read on his behalf by the Minister for the Interior, Henry Quartey, was speaking at the commemoration of this year’s International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in Accra yesterday.

It was on the theme: “The evidence is clear: Invest in prevention.” The day, which was declared by the UN General Assembly in December 1987, was organised by the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC), in collaboration with the Narcotics Control Commission (NACOC).

In attendance were policymakers, ministers of state, UN officials, the diplomatic corps and other stakeholders. 

Effects of drug abuse

The President mentioned trafficking and organised crime, undermining of legitimate businesses, terrorism financing and substance use disorders as some of the effects of the menace on citizens and the nation.

He said as part of efforts to contain the challenges, the government was implementing international and domestic drug policies to ensure the safety of citizens, adding that they were committed to the common and shared responsibility of addressing and countering the global drug problem.

In line with that, the President said the government had taken some bold steps to reform the country’s drug policies by enacting the Narcotics Control Commission Act, 2020 (Act 1019) to ensure good health and the safety of all.

The Act provides for substance use disorders to be treated as a public health issue, including the treatment and rehabilitation of people suffering from substance use disorders, establishment of rehabilitation funds, provision of alternative means of livelihood for people cultivating narcotic plants and the cultivation of cannabis with 0.3 per cent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content for medicinal purposes.

President Akufo-Addo said citizens must also intensify efforts to combat the social anathema, guided by the principles of science, compassion and solidarity for drug victims.

“We must also excuse all forms of discrimination and stigmatisation of people who use drugs. “Through collective efforts, pragmatic actions, commitment to evidence-based and result-based programmes, we can create a safe and healthy environment conducive for fulfilling lives for all people,” he added. 

Global Day celebration

The Director-General of NACOC, Kenneth Adu-Amanfoh, said the decision by UNODC to host this year's celebration in the country was a reflection of Ghana’s steadfast commitment and effective measures in combating illicit drug trafficking and drug abuse.

“We are deeply honoured by this recognition and are committed to making this event a landmark moment in our collective fight against these grave drug challenges,” he said.

The Director-General said his outfit would ensure that scientific evidence-based approach was used in developing effective prevention outreach programmes to deal with drug use among the youth. 

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