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Cocaine usage fast spreading in Ghana
Masahudu Ankiilu Kunateh, Ghanadot

Accra, March 22, Ghanadot - Ghana, the beacon of democracy in Africa is battling with high cocaine usage among its citizens, especially those in urban centres.

Although, the country’s law frowns upon the importation, manufacture, and use of the cocaine for non-medical purposes, many people obtain it illegally and use it for both criminal and pleasurable activities.

The use of cocaine can be dangerous to the individual, the community and whole nation at large. As it costs the country colossal sums of money to rehabilitate cocaine addicts.

Historically, the illegal use of cocaine in Ghana came to crescendo in the 1980s when it was introduced to the ghettos where then marijuana use was the common phenomenon.

It became an expensive habit when it got to the rich in society and with time now cuts across all economic levels of society; from the wealthy to the impoverished, including the youth as well as the adults.

Mr. Ken Chinery-Hesse (real name withheld), who is a cocaine addict narrated his experience to the Ghanadot at Adabraka, a suburb of Accra.

He revealed that, he spends a minimum of GH¢20.00 per day to satisfy his crave for the drug “but when I have a lot of money, I can spend about 90% of it on drugs”.

Heroine and cocaine are currently sold in wrapped foil the size of a tablet ranging between GH¢1.50.00 to GH¢4.00 at the various ghettos where they are available.

‘I have seen friends blowing millions of Ghanaian cedis on drugs, especially, cocaine in a day and you will marvel at the compulsive desire to spend all ones money on it. Whatever means one uses to get ‘high’ a feeling of euphoria is produced with one feeling powerful and alert, which wears off in a short while only for the craving to come back strongly’, Mr. Chinery-Hesse lamented.

Sometimes, an addict is prepared to do anything to satisfy the drug crave if it is even means committing a crime to hands on money, he stressed.

Mr. Chinery-Hesse described the day he was first exposed through peer pressure to the drug. He described the experience as an “abominable act," saying the drug consumption has damaged his life completely.

According to him, friends who were one affluent and held in high esteem in society have now been reduced through drug habit to paupers and beggars on the streets.

Since many addicts do not eat nourishing food or maintain good personal hygiene, showing his emancipated body, Mr. Kwadwo indicated that he has been compelled because of drugs to give out his six children away to relatives while he scavenges for metals to meet his drug needs.

“My greatest regret was when I secretly introduced my wife into drugs which left both of us at disadvantage to fend our children”.

When quizzed whether the cocaine sellers also use the drugs, he answered in the negative saying “most of them are aware of our predicament so they shy away knowing the consequences”.

Mr. Kwadwo explained that he been battling for sometime to stop and asked why he had not consulted any professional for assistance; he insisted that he can muster courage to stop on his own.

A visit to some of the ghettos across the city by the Ghanadot showed the booming side of the business amidst what could be described as misery and hopelessness.

Amidst the deprivation and desperation written boldly on their faces of these drug addicts, “the pushers”, who are the “small flies” in the chain of the drug business could be seen in smart dresses spotting ‘golden necklaces and rings’, and looking like royals.

Public concern about the drug problems led to a demand for greater law enforcement efforts with many countries increasing penalties for illegal sale and possession of drugs.

Drug barons in Latin America who were finding it difficult to use North American routes have decided to use the West Coast of Africa as their transit point because of the non-existence of strong maritime surveillance system.

To dissuade drug trafficking, Ghana has set severe punishment for anyone convicted of these crimes. Drug dealers can receive a minimum sentence of five or ten years in prison.

The Narcotic Control Board (NACOB), Ghana’s anti-crime department that combats drug trafficking with the assistance of other state agencies, last year intercepted cocaine being smuggled through Ghana which ran into several kilogrammes.

Web www.ghanadot.com

Cocaine usage fast spreading in Ghana

Accra, March 22, Ghanadot - Ghana, the beacon of democracy in Africa is battling with high cocaine usage among its citizens, especially those in urban centres.



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