Stop use of illicit drugs! …ER Minister cautions youth

Stop use of illicit drugs! …ER Minister cautions youth

Mr. Seth Acheampong (inset) speaking to the students

The Eastern Regional Min­ister, Seth Kwame Ache­ampong, has advised the youth, especially those in Senior High School (SHS), not to allow themselves to be influenced to experiment with illicit drugs.

The experiment, he assert­ed, may cause them to crave it and become a burdensome part of their daily lives.

According to him, the use of illicit drugs or the abuse of drugs was affecting a lot of the youth, adding that there was a need to address the growing menace, so as not to lead to debilitating effects on the country’s future genera­tion.

He said students relying on illicit drugs could destroy their academic performance and make them a burden to society, advising the youth to rather engage in activities such as sports that offer cre­ative and relaxing alternatives to drugs.

The Eastern Regional Min­ister was speaking at a day’s seminar organised by the Per­fector of Sentiments (POS) Foundation, a youth development and human rights non-governmental organisation, in col­laboration with Open Society Initiative for West Africa, for stu­dents of the Koforidua Senior High Technical School.

The seminar on the theme, “Prevention of Use of Illicit Drugs: The Youth Our Future,” which was attended by both students and teachers, was purposed to enable POS to in­teract with them and create awareness about illicit drugs as well as educate them on the dangers associat­ed with drug abuse.

Mr. Acheampong noted that most of the time, the youth were influenced by peer pressure to experience the use of illicit drugs, especially cannabis.

He explained that the abuse of illicit drugs could dull the mind and impair the user’s judgement and would put that person at risk of making wrong and danger­ous decisions, indicating that such decisions could affect relationships, performance in school or work, and even­tually lead to addictions that could be extremely difficult to overcome.

The Minister revealed that another problem that drug abuse could cause was prob­lems with the law, Narcotics Drug Law 1990 PNDCL 236, where offenders risk heavy fines or imprisonment as such acts could also cause social problems.

The Acting Eastern Region­al Officer of the Narcotics Control Commission, Millicent Badu, said it was sad to be called to scenes where young students or youth were ar­rested or lost their lives due to the illicit use of drugs.

She said there was a need for stakeholders to come to­gether to educate the youth on drug abuse to ensure that they were protected from its dangers.

The Executive Director of the POS Foundation, Mr. Jonathan Osei Owusu, ad­vised the youth, especially students, to desist from the practice to prevent them from being apprehended by the law, adding that being jailed for drug abuse could disrupt their lives and suc­cesses.

 From Ama Tekyiwaa Ampadu Agyeman, Koforidua

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