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New National Drug Control Master Plan to address drug abuse

Cocaine  New Study Drug abuse especially by the youth has been labeled a national canker

Thu, 28 Apr 2022 Source: GNA

The Narcotic Control Commission with support from the ECOWAS Commission has designed a new National Drug Control Master Plan (NDCMP) to address drug abuse and trafficking in Ghana.

The blueprint document renews and advances Ghana's efforts to counter the substance abuse threat that continues to blight the nation, crushing lives and resources.

Mr Ambrose Dery, Minister of the Interior, speaking at a validation workshop on the Master Plan, commended the ECOWAS Commission for their support.

The National Drug Control Master Plan will serve as a strategic document, providing a coherent framework for more comprehensive national drug prevention and control measures.

The Plan will provide the necessary evidence-based guidance to address drug abuse, illicit drug trafficking and related crimes in Ghana.

He said the validation could not have come at a better time to complement efforts of the Government in putting in place measures to deal with drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking. 

The Minister said he was aware that as part of ECOWAS Commission Strategic Plan, between 2018 and 2021, the Commission in collaboration with its development partners supported 12 Member States to complete their National Drug Control Master Plan. 

"Ghana, Liberia and Burkina Faso are the three remaining countries yet to complete their National Master Plan," he said. 

He said the draft Master Plan had been carefully put together with the recognition of other national policies developed. 

Mr Dery said the Narcotics Control Commission Act, 2020 (Act 1019) provided for offences related to narcotic drugs and plants cultivated for narcotic purposes and for related matters. 

He said the validation workshop would support Ghana to review and validate its draft drug control plans to address drug abuse, illicit trafficking and related crimes.

The Minister said experts from Health, drug demand reduction, drug law enforcement agencies, departments in charge of corruption, money laundering and terrorism financing would have the opportunity to contribute to the Plan.

The Plan will be published after validation and disseminated to relevant agencies, Civil Society Organisations and development partners.

He said the Master Plan would improve public health and security for everyone living in Ghana by ensuring that both Drug Demand Reduction and Supply Reduction strategies went hand in hand with sustainable development strategies.

Mr Dery said drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking was a transnational organized crime which required resolute efforts from all stakeholders both local and international to deal with.

Madam Aba Jacqueline Opoku, Chief Staff Officer, Economic and Organised Crime,, said illicit drug trade continued to hold back economic and social development, while extremely impacting on the most vulnerable and marginalised people in society.

She said the canker constituted a fundamental threat to security and stability to all nations. 

"Drug abuse is one of the major problems facing the whole world and it is destroying lives, families and communities and our country Ghana has never been spared in this drug menace," she added.

Madam Opoku, who represented the Board Chairman of the Commission, said as illicit drug trafficking and use continued to threaten health and security of the communities, the situation called for a more pragmatic,  efficient and effective actions to stem the tide.

Source: GNA
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