Drug and substance abuse has become a major concern for Ghanaian youth today. It has been deemed as one of the primary contributors to a decline in the country’s moral standards and socioeconomic development.
The monster has become a cankerworm gradually destroying the future of Ghanaian youth. According to the Ghanaian Government’s National Drug Control Master Plan, more than 10% of the population aged 15-64 has used illegal drugs, with cannabis being the most commonly used.
This alarming trend has resulted in many negative consequences such as school dropout, increased crime rate, and economic burdens on families and the nation.
The issue of drug abuse and addiction is being discussed more openly today as more and more people are becoming aware of the hazardous effects that these substances have on people’s lives.
Drug and substance abuse in Ghana is often linked to socio-economic and cultural factors. Unemployment and poverty have been cited as key factors, particularly in the case of young men who turn to drug and substance abuse as a way out of their dire financial circumstances.
Some have also pointed out the perceived lack of parental guidance and the breakdown of traditional family structures in Ghanaian society. Others see the issue of drug and substance abuse as a reflection of a broader cultural shift, which includes the increased exposure of the Ghanaian youth to Western norms and values such as individualism and consumerism.
The most commonly used drugs among young people in Ghana are cannabis, heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine. Cannabis, also known as marijuana, is the most widely consumed substance across the country.
It is often smoked or consumed in the form of edibles, and is readily available in many Ghanaian communities. Heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine are less commonly used but are still widely available in some areas of the country. These substances are often imported from other countries such as Nigeria and India.
The harmful effects of drug and substance abuse on the youth of Ghana cannot be overstated. These substances can cause serious health problems such as addiction, anxiety, depression, psychosis, and even death.
Drug addiction can also lead to social problems, such as crime, unemployment, poverty, and family breakdowns. Young people who abuse drugs or alcohol are also more likely to engage in risky sexual behavior, which can lead to contracting sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
The negative impact of drug and substance abuse on the youth of Ghana is also being felt by the government and society at large. Ghana’s under-resourced health and law enforcement systems are facing significant challenges in dealing with the increasing number of drug-related cases.
This includes drug trafficking, illegal drug use, and drug-related crime. The Ghanaian government has made efforts to combat drug abuse in the country by strengthening laws and regulations, and implementing awareness campaigns and rehabilitation programs to help young people combat addiction.
However, there is a need for more comprehensive programs to prevent drug and substance abuse among the youth. This includes education and awareness campaigns, which aim to sensitize young people on the dangers of drug use and the importance of making healthy lifestyle choices.
Drug rehabilitation programs are also necessary to provide young people who are struggling with addiction with support, therapy, and access to care.
The prevalence of drug abuse among the youth calls for urgent attention by all stakeholders to curb its spread and save the future of Ghanaian youth.
Parents, educators, and the government need to collaborate and take action to educate young people about the dangers of drug abuse and provide interventions to support those who are struggling with addiction.
In conclusion, the problem of drug and substance abuse in Ghana among the youth is a significant challenge. It is impacting young people’s health, social, economic, and psychological wellbeing, as well as the country as a whole.
Through a concerted effort by the government, civil society, communities, and families, we can combat the rise of drug and substance abuse among the youth. Education, awareness, and rehabilitation programs are some of the vital measures that can be taken to address this issue
Source:Joseph Kobla Wemakor