INSLA Initiates A Community Anti-Drug Coalition

To this end, the INSLA, a non-profit civil society organization, has organized a consultative meeting for selected leaders from some communities in the Greater Accra Region to champion the cause for the formation of the coalitions in their respective areas.

The leaders are from Madina, Yilo Krobo, Ashaiman, Shukura, Maamobi, Amasaman, Adenta West, Kasoa, Ablekuma and Nima.

Mr Abdul Rasheed Shaib, Operations Officer of INSLA, in an address, said Ghanaians must consider drug abuse prevention as the most important matter of concern because the youth and the coming generations were at the risk of illicit drugs and substance abuse.

He said the objective of the formation of the coalitions was to assist in creating awareness of the dangers in the smoking of marijuana, heroin, cocaine, alcohol intake and the abuse of other substances while advocating for the implementation of Ghana’s Narcotic Control Commission Act 2020 (Act 1019).

Mr Luqman Usman, the Technical Advisor of INSLA, in a presentation, said there was a rise in substance use among the youth because of the increase in global production of heroin and cocaine.

He said the vast majority of the people seeking treatment from the effects of substance abuse had been reportedly using more than one substance, adding that heroin was a key drug of concern, which destroys the human body faster than others.

“The THC in cannabis is the main psychoactive compound that produces the high sensation and causes hallucination or euphoria effect that leads to madness.

“The use of cannabis (wee) is a gateway to other hard drugs like cocaine and heroin and cause illness like stroke, heart attack, seizures and coma, bronchitis, loss of concentration, paranoia among other effects,” he stated.

Mr Issah Ali, Policy and Programme Advisor of INSLA, said the establishment of the Community Anti-Drug Coalition project was a model of the Community Anti-Drug Coalition of America (CADCA), which is a leading US substance abuse prevention organization.

He said among the activities of the CADCA were public policy advocacy, training events and youth leadership programmes and its target groups/audience were parent-teacher associations, youth leaders, youth groups, community-based groups and National Commission on Civic Education, among others.

Mr Ali said local problems required local solutions hence the establishment of the Community-Anti Drug Coalitions, which would collaborate with the Narcotics Control Commission through INSLA to implement Act 1019.

The community leaders would be forming a 12-member coalition, which would comprise influential persons and representatives of identifiable groups in their respective communities to take up the awareness creation on the negative impact of drugs and substance abuse.

Mr Benjamin Anabila, the Director of INSLA, said the issue of drug abuse was eating into the fibre of the society, especially among the youth and that INSLA, which is into health promotion, saw it as a responsibility to bring on board CADCA to find a solution to the menace.

“We believe that the fight of the drug threat should be from bottom-up approach hence the orientation of the community leaders such as assemblymen and women and youth leaders who would lead in the awareness creation to be able to make an impact,” he said.