As part of activities to mark this year’s World Drug Abuse Day, the Obuasi Health Directorate and the Government Hospital have organised sensitization program for GPRTU and Pragya drivers on the dangers of Alcohol and Drug abuse.
Originally scheduled for 26th June, the Organisers chose to commemorate the day on Friday, 2nd July, 2021.
With the incidence of drug abuse high among drivers, Victor Kwaku Nuamah, a Mental Health Nurse at the Obuasi Government Hospital said ” we adopted different approach to sensitize the public on alcohol and drug abuse this year. We have met with members of the Ghana Road Transport Union as well as Pragya drivers to educate them on the devastating effect alcohol and drug abuse will have on their work “. He said this decision was premised on the recent surge in road accidents which most of them can be attributed to alcohol and drug use among drivers.
Touching on the theme for this year’s commemoration of World Drug Day ‘Share Facts On Drugs, Save Lives’, Victor Kwaku Nuamah, a Mental Health Nurse at the Obuasi Government Hospital said there is the need for evidence-based approaches to equip the public, as well as health and service providers, and decision-makers with the tools to inform choices and effective services.”
SUPPORT TO INTENSIFY PUBLIC EDUCATION
He said the Health Directorate in Obuasi will consistently meet Drivers to educate them on how to stay away from drug and alcohol abuse. He again called for Government and Stakeholders support to increase awareness on substance abuse since the country is losing several millions of cedis as a result of illicit drug use especially among the youth.
CEO of Willingway Foundation Ghana, A Kumasi based rehabilitation centre known for treating mentally deranged, drug addicts and alcoholism, madam Lydia Abena Manu also called on Government to put up more rehabilitation centers across the 16 regions of the country to provide care for people with an alcohol or drug addiction.
” Though the NGOs like ours are doing our best to give support and care for Persons with Mental challenge, it is incumbent of Government to make rehabilitation centers accessible to enable those in this situation access quality healthcare ”
Still on roles Government can play to curb incidence of drug and alcohol abuse, the CEO of Willingway Foundation Ghana called for the enactment of policies that can aid those who are at forefront or leading the campaign against the use of illicit drugs like the Mental Health Authority, with funds, to enable them intensify their campaign against substance abuse.
World drug abuse day which was instituted on 26th June, 1987 is observed globally to mark the importance of the fight against drug abuse and illicit trafficking
According to the Narcotic Control Commission, in 2020, 242 persons sought treatment for drug use from 15 treatment and rehabilitation facilities within the country. The majority of them sought treatment intervention from Alcohol (38.0%) and cannabis (32.7%). This Madam Manu opined ,is worrying hence the need for Collaborative efforts among stakeholders to fight against the menace.
ROLE OF PARENTS
The Deputy Director of Nursing Services, Obuasi Government Hospital appealed to parents to closely monitor their children especially with the kind of friends they make . This he said will enable parents identify certain behavioural changes among children to forestall incidence of drug abuse.
A FORMER MENTAL HEALTH PATIENT SHARES HIS EXPERIENCE
Maxwell Obeng Nsiah shared his experience regarding the use of illicit drugs. He blamed peer influence and curiosity for his ordeal. He revealed that he lost several opportunities due to substance abuse which nearly prevented him from pursuing his musical career.
Whiles praising Willingway Foundation Ghana for their support during his predicament, he advised the youth to desist from drug abuse since it has the tendancy of jeopardising their lives.