The Western North Regional Directorate of the National Youth Authority (NYA) has called for the cessation of drugs and substance abuse among the youth in the Sefwi Asawinso community of the Western North region and the region as a whole at an event organized in the Sefwi Asawinso community, under the theme, “Say Daabi to Drugs”.
The Regional Director of the National Youth Authority (NYA), Mr. Maclean Desmond, addressed the student populace, citing that they are agents of change and must not indulge in the practice of drugs and substance abuse.
Amongst the many reasons that influence the youth’s indulgence, he stressed on the negative implications of the idea that drugs will make them sexually active and strong among their friends, and made a clarion call to the students to say NO to drugs.
Madam Georgina Amissah, who spoke on behalf of the Guidance and Counseling Coordinator for the Ghana Education Service in the Sefwi Wiawso Municipal, explained, that the abuse of drugs must not be taken lightly, especially because of the psychological effects it has on the user. She added that the consequences could be dire and may result in students becoming school dropouts, experiencing mental breakdowns, weird behavioral changes, and so on.
Speaking on the legalities of the possession and use of drugs, the Chief Inspector of Police, Mr. Dzidzoe indicated that within the confines of the law, a person may be prosecuted not only for the usage of illegal drugs, but also for their possession of same, citing that a person may be prosecuted for up to twenty-five (25) years in jail for the possession and use of narcotics.
Addressing the audience on the health implications of drugs and substance, Dr. Ophelia Esi Dickson (Pharma D.) from the Sefwi Wiawso Government Hospital spoke expressly on the types of drug abuse as including antibiotics, contraceptive, and psycho-active drug abuse.
Singling out psycho-active drug abuse, Dr. Ophelia Dickson, in her presentation, recounted the many negative implications of this abuse form, and these may eventually ruin not only the lives of the abuser but also of innocent babies born by abusive mothers. She made a call to the general public ensure the provision of a health social environment by joining hands and speaking with one voice especially for events like this.
In an interview with the media, the Regional Director of the National Youth Authority (NYA), Mr. Maclean Desmond indicated that, as an institution that is charged with the mandate of youth development, the event is not going to be the last, as there’s an ongoing project to spread the message across the entire landscape of the Western North region.
Mr. Yankson, Vice President for Scholars Hub Foundation— a Non Governmental Organization consisting of tertiary students, informed the media of their excitement to have partaken in such an event, calling on other institutions to tertiary students to join the Hub.
Representative of the Concerned Youth of Asawinso, Mr. Richard Ankamah, expressed their profound gratitude to the National Youth Authority (NYA) for taking up this all-important exercise of public education, particularly because of the worrying trend of drug abuse among the youth of Sefwi Asawinso. He further indicated of their maximum support for this and any such initiative that enhances the lives of their youths.
The Chairman for the occasion, Mr. Frank Pedro Asare, expressed his gratitude to the organizers of the program, and addressed the media, saying, “I believe the program is a timely intervention, particularly because of the rate of drugs and substance abuse among the youth of the Asawinso community.” Speaking on the aftermath, he said, the National Youth Authority (NYA) has just begun their advocacy on the subject matter and will eventually extend the call to the doorsteps of the youth.
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