Regional News of 2014-06-28

Narcotics Board to build rehabilitation centre

Commander Baffour Asaase Gyimah (rtd), Board Chairman of the Narcotic Control Board (NACOB), says government is seeking funds from the Board’s international partners to build a rehabilitation centre for drug addicts.

He said the project, which aims at easing congestion at psychiatric hospitals, would also give technical support services to addicts.

The Board Chairman said this during the 2014 World Drug Day Celebration organised by NACOB in collaboration with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

He described drug addiction as a disease and not necessarily a crime, adding “addiction is a medical problem that requires medical attention and not legal prosecution for prison confinement”.

Commander Asaase Gyimah said adopting this policy towards drug addicts did not imply that the Governing Board of NACOB together with the government was considering legalizing the use of marijuana in any form.

He said actors and radio presenters who use their platforms to promote the use of marijuana would be dealt with in accordance with the laws of Ghana.

He said NACOB would continue to work at improving the working conditions of staff, collaborate with both local and international drug law enforcement agencies and other identifiable bodies to ensure that drug abuse and its associated crimes are minimized.

Mr. Yaw Akrasi Sarpong, Executive Secretary of NACOB, said gone were the days when individuals who had disorders as a result of drug abuse were left unattended to by society.

He said drugs had been shown to alter brain chemistry which interferes with an individual’s ability to make decisions and could lead to compulsive craving, seeking and abuse.

The ceremony, held at the OLAMS Senior High School, was on the theme: “A message of hope: Drug use disorders are preventable and treatable” and students from CHEMU Senior High, Tema Secondary School, Methodist Senior High and Tema Presbyterian Secondary School attended.