Catholic University Sensitizes Pre Tertiary Students on Drug Abuse

Msgnr.  Prof. Stephen Ntim 

The Dean of Faculty of Education at the Catholic University College of Ghana, Fiapre has called on the youth of the country to desist from drug abuse if they want to soar higher in life.

Speaking at the sidelines of a sensitization programme organized by the university dubbed "SENSITIZATION ON DRUGS AND CHEMICAL DEPENDENCY" for students and pupils of some selected Senior High Schools and Basic Schools in Sunyani East, Sunyani West and Berekum Municipalities, Msgnr Prof Stephen Ntim revealed about 70 percent of the Ghanaian youth abuse either one licit or illicit drug or more.

This he bemoaned is detrimental to the future of the country.

"Out of ignorance, peer influence or curiosity, about 70 percent of our vibrant youth population indulge in drug and substance abuse. Since these drugs are psychoactives, they affect their Central Nervous System which in the long round affect their brains and strength either to learn or actively work in any menial job" the educationist pontificated.

He however debunked the erroneous impression created around these substances abused.

"I want to tell our young ones that, there is nothing meaningful and helpful about these drugs. Being it marijuana, heroine, cocaine, tramadol, tobacco, alcohol of shisha, it's all deceptive that after getting high from them you become wise, strong, courageous or a shark. Any reaction is temporal, dangerous to your health and the worst of all leads to addiction" Prof Ntim advised.

He however assured the of the youth of the unflinching love and support of the government and well-meaning Ghanaians to help them succeed in life, hence abstenance from drug abuse is the best way towards success.

On his part, the Bono, Ahafo and Bono East Regional Mental Health Coordinator, indicated though his outfit is handicapped both financially and logistically, it is liaising with the media and other stakeholders to  campaign against the drug abuse in these territories.

Mr. Joseph Yere

"Though we wish to reach out to many people as possible to enlighten them on the negative impacts of drug abuse, we are limited because we are not well equipped to embark on such sensitization programmes. We didn't receive any financial support from the central government nor the local government (MMDAS) in 2019, hence we couldn't secure the right airtime on radio stations to talk about this menace" Mr Joseph Yere hinted.

He observed this programme was therefore very important as drug abuse can lead to insanity of which his outfit is grappling with financial and logistics constraints to get rid of already profound mentally challenged persons on the streets of the regions.

"We have counted about 627 mentally challenged persons in these three regions. With a strategy of 10 patients per quarter, we could have helped in managing their situations and get rid of them from our streets but, we are not financially and medically fit to do this. We have put a plea before the Regional Minister (Mrs Evelyn Ama Kumi Richardson) to help us whip the interests of the MMDAS to help finance our activities so that this situation can be eradicated but we are still waiting on her  for a positive feedback. We therefore advocate that people do not venture into this act to increase the already horrendous numbers" He observed.

A counseling psychologist at the University of Energy and Natural Resource - Dormaa Campus, called on the government to establish rehabilitation centers across the country to help in addressing the issue of addiction.

Counselor Prince Kwame Affum

"In 2018, the Ghana National Association of Certified Counselors and Associates advocated for Counselors in Basic Schools since the basic school is the cradle of every person but it could not work out since most counselors are placed in the second cycle and tertiary institutions. The alternative is to train the guidance and counseling teachers in the basic schools but it remains undone. I will also call on government to set up rehabilitation centers across the country. This will help in the rehabilitation of addicted drug abusers, else relapse will occur when they live in the midst of the community where they started the drugs" Counselor Prince Kwame Affum pleaded.

About 300 participants from Berekum All For Christ SHS, Odumasi SHS, St James Seminary, Notre Dame SHS and some basic schools were charged to become peer educators in their schools to drum home the message. The occasion was chaired by the Vice Chancellor of the CUCG, Prof. Daniel Obeng Ofori.

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