Willingway Foundation Ghana, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) committed to rehabilitating drug addicts and the mentally sick, is taking steps to fight the use of drugs among Senior High School (SHS) students.
The Foundation in collaboration with the Ghana Health Service (GHS) had begun establishing Friends of Mental Health and Addiction Prevention Clubs in SHSs in the Ashanti Region as part of strategies to fight the menace.
The first of its kind was formed at Opoku Ware School with a call on members to be ambassadors of mental health by educating their peers on the dangers associated with the use of illicit drugs.
As peer educators, members of the club would propagate information on drug abuse by engaging their fellow students on the need to stay away from drugs.
Madam Lydia Abena Manu, the Chief Executive Officer of the Foundation, said drug addiction was one of the pervasive problems facing almost all countries the world over with devastating consequences among the youth.
She said the youth were the most vulnerable in the use of hard drugs, adding that, senior high schools had become commonplace for the abuse of drugs as energy enhancers under the influence of peer pressure.
She expressed grave concern about the alarming rate at which the youth engaged in the abuse of alcohol and illicit drugs.
Mrs Faustina Nuako, the Ashanti Regional Director of Mental Health Authority said the formation of the clubs would go a long way to curb the wanton abuse of illicit drugs among students.
She entreated members of the club to lead the campaign against drug abuse in the school to safeguard the future of their friends who may unfortunately be using drugs ignorantly.
She underlined the need for all stakeholders to show keen interest in the mental health issues beginning from the domestic and community levels.
Mr Akwasi Boateng Oduro, an Assistant Headmaster of the school applauded the initiative to establish the club to constantly remind students about the effects of drug abuse.
He counselled the students not to succumb to peer pressure but rather focus on their studies, adding that resorting to drugs to enhance their ability to study was not an option.