Koforidua SecTech students trained on dangers of illicit drug use

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Illicit Drugs
Illicit Drugs

Students of the Koforidua Senior High Technical School (SecTech) in the New Juaben South Municipality of the Eastern Region have received in-depth education on the dangers of alcohol abuse, illicit and other psychoactive substances, which have far-reaching financial impact on livelihoods.

The seminar was jointly organised by the Perfector of Sentiment (POS) Foundation, a non-governmental organisation, in collaboration with the Eastern Regional Coordinating Council, and the Ghana Education Service, on the theme: “Prevention of Illicit Drugs”.

Mr Seth Acheampong, the East Regional Minister, said globally, the illicit use of drugs had negative and devastating effects on users’ and their societies, causing problems for young people.

This also results in avoidable violence, broken marriages and relationships, and other devastating consequences.

Substance abuse had been defined by the World Health Organisation as the “harmful or dangerous use of psychoactive substances such as alcohol and illicit drugs.”

As a variety of factors are clearly driving the development of the complex global problem of illicit drugs, their most significant impact on society is the negative health consequences faced by users, which are connected to the financial impact on individuals, families, and society.

“Cannabis is still ranked as the most prevalent illicit substance in Africa, with West and Central Africa showing the highest prevalence and increase in use, with rates ranging from 5.2 per cent to 13.5 per cent,” Mr Acheampong said.

He encouraged students to focus on their academic work and resist any temptation to fall into the trap of psychoactive substance use and abuse.

Mr Jonathan Osei Owusu, the Executive Director, POS Foundation, said Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) were critical to the passage of the new Narcotics Control Commission Law 1019/2020, which replaced the PNDC Law 236 of 1990 on control, enforcement and sanctions.

The passage of the law was part of lobbying by CSOs to see drug use as a public health and human rights, rather than an incarceration or punishment, he said.

Speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the event, Mr Owusu said: “As an organisation, we are here to educate students about the effects of illegal drugs and how they can put their lives at risk if they don’t take precautions”.

He said the training was also attended by judges, police prosecutors, the media, and other stakeholders of the new law to help improve the lives Ghanaians.

Mr Owusu advised the students to take their studies seriously and focus on how they could develop their personalities for the future.

Mrs Ivy Asantewaa Owusu, the Eastern Regional Director of Education, said students should flee from negative peer influences to prevent any future disappointments and embarrassments to themselves, their parents, teachers and the country.

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