The La Dade-Kotopon Municipality has been identified by the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) as having the highest prevalence rate of narcotics use in the Greater Accra Region.
This was confirmed at the Municipal Security Council meeting last week by security officers who identified 25 ghettos within the municipality where drug peddlers engage in drug-related activities.
“It also came to light there were on sale to the public ‘wee’ toffees, ‘wee’ biscuits, ‘wee’ chewing gums and many others. My major worry and concerns are that the target customers of the producers of these products are the youth,” the Municipal Chief Executive of the area, Ms Gladys Mann-Dede, stated.
She said this yesterday at the Greater Accra Regional celebration of this year’s World Drug Day, which falls on June 26 every year.
The high rate of narcotics use in the La Dade-Kotopon Municipality, she said, informed the decision to organise the World Drug Day programme in the municipality, where a week-long programme, including a quiz and football gala, was organised to create awareness of the dangers of illicit drug use.
Ms Mann-Dede noted that the danger associated with the continuous production of narcotic-induced substances was that the youth patronised them without knowing the effect.
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She said a recent report about the use of illicit drugs by the United Nations which cited Ghana among nations highly engaged in drug use could have a negative effect on the country’s image abroad.
According to the MCE, the assembly would give much attention to fighting social challenges including the use of illicit drugs.
She said the assembly had started engaging stakeholders including the Department of Social Welfare and Community Development, police, traditional authorities, religious bodies, non-governmental organisations and the media, to deal with the problem in its efforts to fight illicit drugs use.
The Greater Accra Regional Commander of NACOB, Mr Roger Vanderpuye, said the 2016 World Drug Report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime named Ghana as the third country in Africa after Nigeria and South Africa among the top transit points for cocaine from South America en route to Europe and the US.
“The report again named Ghana as among the top four countries in Africa reported as the sources of cannabis herb to Europe,” he said and urged the country to take the appropriate steps to curb the menace.
He, therefore, called on Parliament to, as a matter of urgency, pass the NACOB Bill to give the board more powers to effectively do its work.
The Head of the Addictive Disease Unit at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Mr Logosu Amegashie, urged the youth to stay away from drugs since they could destroy their lives.