The vice eating into our society

Thursday, March 03, 2016
Another large quantity of illicit drugs was Monday destroyed by the Drug and Law Enforcement Agency The Gambia (DLEAG) at the Old Cape Road in Bakau, where a total of 1 tonne, 161 kilograms of Cannabis Sativa, seized over time, was publicly destroyed.

As we have always been saying, this destruction exercise being carried out periodically gives a disturbing clue of the loads of illicit and harmful drugs being consumed by some people in our society, and this leaves us wondering about the impact of drug abuse and trafficking in the lives of our people and the economy.

This time around, as it has mostly been the case, a long finger is pointed at mainly the youths of this country.

“In The Gambia, the number of drug users is so great, mostly the youths, that as a result it has created negative impacts on them such as behaviour change, health problems, crime and other violence,” DLEAG director general said in a statement read during the destruction exercise.

Drugs are illegal substances that people smoke, inject, drink for the physical and mental effects it has. And they range from cannabis sativa to cocaine, hashis, methamphetamine, and controlled drugs of tablets.

It is essential to note that drug abuse can create negative impacts on health and society.This is because it has psychological, health and social effects on life.

Its psychological effects include euphoria and illusion, stress, anxiety and depression, and mental illnesses.

Its health effects include accidents and injuries; internal organ damage, risk of infectious diseases, and methamphetamine, which is a powerful addictive drug that can destroy the teeth and damage the heart.

Its sexual effects include low sperm counts and low testosterone levels, with women in risk of having abnormal ovulation. Drug abuse also leads to unprotected sex, unwanted pregnancy or contracting of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as syphilis, gonorrhea and HIV/AIDS.

The social effects of drug abuse take the form of strained relationships with partners and other people. Also its side effects like a hangover feeling can reduce the ability to focus, and poor performance at work can cause job loss.

Drug abuse can reduce care for safety, in the sense that it increases chances of being in dangerous situations and compromise the safety of self and others, especially when driving.

It also leads one into financial pressures and mounting debts, violence, homelessness, and corruption, which are all serious social effects.

Considering the magnitude of the negative effects of drug abuse and drug trafficking, which are serious threats to our health and socio-economy, we should all put hands on deck to fight the menace of drug abuse eating into our society.

“Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.”

Benjamin Franklin