The lethal side of drug use, trafficking
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Although human consumption of psychoactive substances is as
old as human civilization itself, the concept of problematic drug use has been
primarily a child of the past century and the industrialized world. Yet, with
increasing globalization, drug problems are now becoming both more relevant and
more recognized in developing countries.
Youth matters want to discuss and share this emergence with
our young people today as well as the many methodological difficulties in
monitoring the normally hidden behaviour of drug use and its associated risks,
and review the global and regional structures for undertaking this task.
Of course we all know that any nation’s, including Gambia’s,
human resource capacity solely rest on her young people and this is the folk
predominantly engaging in drug use and trafficking.This increasing involvement of our young people however
could be allied with many factors including the production and cultivation of
Cannabis sativa in and around countries sharing boarders with The Gambia.
Just imagine now havingyoung people with strong shared values, beginning with sense of nationhood, this will rain a sense of loving, caring and respect that we should all see ourselves as one people with a common destiny; that kindness and team-work will serve us better than greed and selfishness; that our nation desires productive and enterprising citizens and not drug-peddlers and loathers; that honest service and helping people in need is nobler than riches from robbery and corruption; that volunteerism helps the nation more than people instigating violence and destruction of public property; that humility is preferable to arrogance; that national service matters to the welfare of our people; that crime hurts and whatever is good for the nation is good for all of us as individuals.
The youth by nature have a lot of energy and expectations, and unless we guide them and channel it into productive and enterprising activities, it could easily be manipulated by others into destructive and unproductive ventures. A lot of youth are into drugs and crime not because they are intrinsically bad, but because they are bored and want to do something. The devil, they say, finds work for the idle hands.
Drugs of all kinds that are designed for intoxication are harmful substances that pose negative impact on the life of people. The most lethal part of them is their misuse. Because of the diverse nature and severity of problems that arise from substance use, prevention activity takes many forms; from brief interpersonal contact to broad national policies. Clearly, it is better to address problems before they occur than after they have developed, but substance abuse is persistent and prevention can be difficult to achieve.
Globally, school attendance rates are dropping down gradually with a high dropout. Many young people belief that they can get rich quickly when they traffic in drugs. This has compelled many of our young people to even stay away from classes and venture into drug trading. These are they youth who end up being unskilled, unemployment and unproductive citizens, a burden and a liability to their families, community and the state.
Drugs related health problems have also impacted negatively
on the healthcare system. In a poor country, the disruption on family and
society is multiplied and exaggerated. Most drug-related psychiatric admission
in The Gambia is cannabis related. Many of our young people today have taken
the wrong road and declined to ask those who have passed the good roads before
them. The shared good values, the road taken by our fore parents
and the teachings of our cultures are fading away, beginning with sense of
The culture of seen ourselves as one people with a common destiny seems to be eroding. We must understand that kindness and team-work will serve us better than greed and selfishness; that our nation desires productive and enterprising citizens and not drug-peddlers and loathers; that honest service and helping people in need is nobler than riches from robbery and corruption; that volunteerism helps the nation more than people instigating violence and destruction of public property; that humility is preferable to arrogance; that national service matters to the welfare of our people; that crime hurts and whatever is good for the nation is good for all of us as individuals.
Our narcotics court is overburden with drugs cases, prison is filled up, resources offering help and are not available or insufficient or not up to par and majority of those involved in these problems are mainly young people.
The government of The Gambia being part of the international community has taken bold steps in the fight against drug menace and other associated crimes. Sometime ago, President Jammeh announces a zero tolerance to drug use and trafficking.
Besides from applying the demand and supply control mechanism in other to prevent drug abuse. The National Drug Enforcement Agency is also involved in educating and sensitising the public particularly the youth about the dangers of drug abuse and its related effects.
Author: Amadou Jallow