Emmanuella Ekua Yawson
(Level 300 student, Ghana Institute of Journalism)
In this century of ours, people easily get addicted to one thing or the other. Addiction comes in many forms including drugs, sex, gambling, stealing, food, pornography, computer/ internet, working, spiritual obsession, shopping, fashion, television and among others.
Addiction is a biopsychosocial disorder which is a combination of one’s genetics, neurobiology and how that interact with psychological and social factors, according to the lead Public Health Advisor at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Maureen Boyle. However, for the purposes of what this article seeks to put across, it will focus on drug addiction and its dire consequences.
Drug addiction is a lifelong condition but not a lifelong impairment, an addictive disease with it treacherous grip, shame and personal humiliation coming from family and friends, making life hell and an unhappy place for an addict. The best way to convey the truth about drug addiction is through the words of those who have “been there”. There are several drugs that people tend to get addicted to and they include marijuana, cocaine, tramadol, crystal meth, heroin etc
Addiction at the time of it start never seems as though it will become an enslaving activity. An addict (name withheld) accounted how his drug addiction journey started and according to him the addiction begun when he could differentiate good from bad and at the age of nine years because his dad was an addict on marijuana and used to sell marijuana to drug addicts. According to him, his dad used to give him every little of marijuana he took and he told him he was training him always whenever neighbors questioned the father on the effect it will have on the son but the dad paid no heed to it.
It continued till the age of thirty five, then he realized he was addicted to the drug and that he could not live a day without taking in marijuana, because of that every lady that came his way was not able to stay with him and also he has two children and his wife left because of the addiction and he was an accountant for a company but was fired because of the effect the drug was having on him and is always been named and shamed by his friends and family members and he has lost his respect among his friends and they do not want to walk with him again. I asked him if he had not seek any help and if he is willing to stop taking the drug and he said he is willing and ready but whenever he tries it does not work so he has given up in trying and always regret his actions.
This man is an addict of a drug and so are most of us who are addicted to a drug and want to quit addiction but do not know where to start from, Government of Ghana enacted the Narcotics Drugs (Control, Enforcement and Sanctions) law there is a special governmental support for people with drug addiction aimed at encouraging those who have become addicted to drugs to seek treatment, counselling and after overcoming the drug addiction will go through a process for rehabilitation and social re-integration. Investigations conducted and coupled with statistics from the Narcotic Control Board ( NACOB) report that about 50,000 people abuse drug of which 35,000 were students from junior/senior high school and tertiary institutions aged between 12 and 35 years while the remaining 15,000 were adults with 9,000 being males and 6,000 females.
Majority of people tend to indulge in drug abuse when something in their life is not going on well, or when they are not happy about their lifestyle. To avoid this, you need to look at life’s broad picture and create your priorities in order. The truth of the matter is that drug prevention and regulation of drug usage starts with education. The education on causes and effects of drug addiction can take place in different levels. There should be a school based drug addiction youth and prevention, this is a menace that must be addressed during the early childhood of a kid in preschool. At this stage, kids will benefit from learning how to curbaggression. Also community based drug addiction prevention programs, the majority of communities in Ghana have played a vital role in the fight of this menace and hence they have created a huge impact in the prevention of drug addiction. Some have gone further to implement policies and therapist volunteering to ensure that youths do not indulge in this behavior.