[Pt.2] Drug Abuse in Ghana: Causes, Effects & Solutions

Read Part 1 Here

…The instreaming of drug itinerants and quack doctors in our streets and at the doorsteps, has orchestrated to a high incidence of drug abuse. It is worthy to note that, not only in our homes and streets that one catches a glimpse of quacks plying their trade, but also in buses and in “troskis.” Their ability to entertain an audience, their sheer eloquence and the testimonies given by various people about the efficacy of their drugs are enough to sway a sick person or the young person to buy what they sell. Also, worthy to note is the fact that their drugs are inexpensive and so people cannot help but use them without qualified medical doctor’s advice.

 

Another factor responsible for the growing incidence of drugs abuse especially tramadol abuse is peer pressure or peer group influence. In schools especially, students tend to be lured by friends who are into the drug ‘businesses’. A young boy addicted to drugs may convince a colleague to drink alcohol, sniff cocaine, smoke marijuana or misuse tobacco substances in the name of fashion. Some youngsters who are determined not to defile their bodies with drugs are alienated, scolded, and given provocative names like “kolo, john, anti-so”, etc. To escape these cat-calls and mockery, some easily give up into the advice of abusing drugs in the nick of time.

 

Interestingly, advertisement has for the past decades have been one of the powerful tools used to lure men to misuse drugs in this country. On the wings of advertisement, young people get carried away by thoughts of fantasy. They begin to feel that they would in no time, beam with smiles, confidence and appear healthy like the smiling confident looking individuals in the advert who have been provident enough to do the right things at the right time. Elegantly dressed and as men and women of high social standing too, they have almost always, compelled their audience to accept them as role models through the quintessence of eloquence and high sounding catchy phrases and slogans like “Marijuana, the heavenly weed that opens the twin doors of wisdom and prosperity!” “Adonko bitters, bitters of the moment!. Brukutu, Barima nsuo” and etc. Deceptive as their behaviours and speeches are, several thousands of young talented people are influenced into imitating their lifestyles and habits.

 

Curiosity is also one of the factors that accounts for the misuse of drugs. Most young are very curious to find out what is contained in certain types of drugs especially tramadol and other alcoholic substances. They see others happily indulging in drugs. Often times, they find men and women of high social standing smoking and drinking profusely. They irresistibly gross anxious to find out what makes other people indulge in these drugs.

 

Drug abuse has is attendant problems. Most prominent among them is that it usually impairs the health of those who become addicted to the practice. Quite often, habitual users of strong drugs like tramol, cocaine, marijuana and alcohol become emaciated and completely dehumanized. Predictably, this leads to premature deaths. Habitual drug users are noted to be drowsy, lazy and totally unproductive. Though they may eat a lot, they lack the strength and conscience to contribute to the growth of a country’s economy. In most situations, the illegal use of drugs leads to mental illness. A drug addict easily breaks down psychologically. The abuse of drugs such as marijuana, alcohol and tramadol provokes acts of violence. Those who misuse such drugs become fearless, aggressive, reckless and prone to acts of inhumanity. This, no doubt, disturbs social order.

 

To combat the drug menace, the following measures should be put in place. There is the need for a nationwide educational campaign, aimed at exposing every citizen to the dangers inherent in using un-prescribed drugs. As much as education is essential, it is equally important for the government to embark on a health revolution. In this respect, hospitals and well-equipped clinics should be established in all towns and villages in the country to give people access to qualified health professionals. As a matter of urgency, hospital fees must be reviewed to make them affordable to the common man. The National Health Insurance Scheme must be regulated enough to cover most hospital bills especially most medicines and laboratory tests which most patients find it very mind-blowing to afford. The government and the security agencies should not delay in waging a relentless war against users and traders of hard drugs like cocaine, tramadol and marijuana. Whenever they are caught, instant punitive measures should be meted to them. In addition, the government is advised to place a ban on the sale of the most commonly abused drugs in the country. Lastly, quack doctors and drug peddlers should be given proper training to enable them conduct their operations more efficiently and effectively. If not, they should be banned from carrying out their operations.

 

I hope the suggestions presented in this piece would be carefully considered to provide a lasting solution to this abuse of drugs especially tramadol (currently trending) in our country.

MLS Kelly Michael Agbesi

Keywordz19@gmail.com

0243075464

[Pt. 2] Vice or Vengeance; Why Robbers Will Continue to Rob Us

Read “[Pt. 1] Vice or Vengeance; Why Robbers Will Continue to Rob Us” here

…When the so-called non-conformists are not engaged in any act, they like to listen to music, especially those songs which express expletive vulgarity. When asked why they like to listen to such songs, they told me such tracks really depict how they feel. But how do they really feel? They feel that the world has neglected them. They think that nobody cares about them.

When they see their colleagues they were in basic school with, who have been able to climb the ladder to higher heights, mostly because they had some people to love and care for them, they begin to perceive how unlucky they have been, or how unfair the world is. They are not likely to vote or take part in any social obligations. Instead, they would invest their energies in building themselves to take back what the society has taken from them.

They can only do this by finding ways of bullying those who are privileged or affluent and taking part of their belongings or money away because such people would not voluntarily give them what they have worked for or in most cases, inherited. They know that when they get some of the things these people have, the society would show them love, at least that’s what the music they listen to, and the movies they watch inform them. That is not to say the music they listen to, or the movies they watch have corrupted their moral beings. It is the robbing of what they need by the society which has corrupted their conscience- the principal coordinator of the moral being.

When you critically examine the principles that govern man as a moral being, it would be clear that, man as a moral being is made up of three or four very distinct, but closely related components, which when not well regulated, could lead to corruption of the mind. These constituents are the desires and the affections including self-love; the will or volitions; the governing moral principles or what is commonly termed conscience; and lastly, the moral relation of man to his deity, or what has been termed religion.

These three or four constituents are one way or the other contingent on one another. An exercise of the will of an individual could be directed towards, first, an action to be performed to others; second, an object to be obtained; both of which are connected to a previously existing mental condition of the individual.  In regard to objects to be obtained, such a person’s mental condition would be that of desire- and that of actions towards others would be affection.

The conscience coordinates the exercise of volitions or the will of a man and how they are influenced by the affections or desires of such a man. Sometimes, the relation between a man and their Deity could regulate how they exercise their volitions. Clearly, it could be inferred that the desires and affections of an individual are the fundamental principles, upon which all other moral constituents build upon. That is to say, the affections or desires are the moving powers from which our actions proceed.

The affections, particularly, have been demonstrated to be that aspect of the moral being that enables an individual to relate with other men. They have been grouped into two, somehow contrasting groups: Uniting affections, including justice, benevolence, veracity, friendship, love, patriotism and domestic affections. Such affections bind a person to the entire community: an individual is obligated to demonstrate such affections towards others. In addition, there are defensive affections, including jealousy, disapprobation, and anger. How these affections are exercised depend largely on how other men exercise their own moral principles on an individual or how an individual perceive the morals of others to be.

If for instance, a person feels that he is part of a larger community because the community exhibits such uniting affection as love towards them, it is likely that such a person would exhibit one of the uniting moral principles, for example, patriotism in return. In a like manner, a person would employ a more defensive affection in response to the reverse situation-when they perceive other humans do not exercise a uniting affection such as love, justice or veracity towards them.

Such is the case of the four persons I interacted with, who do not feel any love, justice or any of the uniting affections from their immediate community or the society at large, so they employ defensive mechanisms resulting from acting on their defensive affections. The defense mechanisms such as bullying others are what society terms vice. But are these really vice or vengeance, serving only as defensive mechanism for those involved in such acts?

I do not intend to applaud these acts, but if our attentions are not directed towards the fundamental cause of them, regardless of how many churches we established, how many religious leaders we train or how large our prisons are, the number of criminals would keep increasing. So we should extend the uniting affections to everyone, especially those who are deprived of them, not because such acts keeps us closer to our Deity, but also such acts makes others feel a sense of belonging to the society.  As we celebrate this month of love, we should all endeavor to show more of the uniting affections to such people, as this is the most likely way to properly do away with acts of bullying and other ruffianisms.