The Narcotics Control Commission (NCC) on Friday (June 26) destroyed impounded illicit drugs valued at GH¢2,898,426 at the Bundase Military Training Camp.
The exercise formed part of this year’s International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, also known as World Drug Day.
The drugs destroyed included 2.55 tonnes of cannabis and 287.61 kilogrammes of karts, a plant chewed for its stimulant and euphoric effect, which were seized from people in various operations carried out across the country.
Representatives of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), a Court Registrar representing the Judicial Service, the Ghana Police Service and the media witnessed the exercise.
The acting Director-General of the NCC, Mr Francis Kofi Torkornoo, who supervised the destruction, said the celebration of the day offered the nation in general and the commission in particular the opportunity to examine and put into perspective the approach to drug demand reduction among the populace, particularly the youth, who remained the most vulnerable to drug use.
He said it also increased awareness creation of the debilitating effects of drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking as well as the threats they posed to national security.
Mr Torkornoo said apart from taking stock and evaluating the commission’s partnership with local and international stakeholders, the day was also used to marshal support from the public in the shared responsibility in the fight against drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking.
He noted that the theme for this year’s celebration, which is: “Better knowledge for better care,” was apt in the era of social media, where people were being exploited with misinformation on illicit drugs in an attempt to lure them into drugs.
He emphasised that the commission would continue to educate the public against drug abuse to ensure that the younger generation did not take to the abuse of drugs or engage in drug trafficking.
While advising the youth to stay away from drugs, he entreated all to appreciate that persons suffering from substance use disorders required counselling and treatment, and not incarceration.
He reiterated that substance use disorder was treatable and several people are known to have recovered from the predicament.
Mr Torkornoo said it was in that regard that the commission, in collaboration with its partners, had been providing evidence-based training on the universal treatment curriculum to help equip healthcare providers and counsellors with the requisite knowledge of drug addiction treatment.
A statement from the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, said this year’s theme spoke to the need to build solutions based on facts and shared responsibility.
The statement noted that the international community had a solid foundation for action, with an agreed legal framework and commitments outlined in the 2019 Ministerial Declarations of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs.
It called on all nations to work together to develop sustainable alternatives to illicit drug crop cultivation, tackle drug trafficking and related organised crime, and advance justice responses as well as prevention, treatment and rehabilitation services for drug use and related HIV interventions.
Source: General News