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The problem at hand

Mar 13, 2015, 10:37 AM

The large quantity of illicit drugs destroyed on Wednesday by the National Drugs Enforcement Agency (NDEA) now called Drug and Law Enforcement Agency The Gambia (DLEAG) has sent another shock wave to all in the country.

The types and quantity of drugs destroyed give 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.

The drugs destroyed included cannabis sativa of a quantity of 2 tonnes, 546kg 10g; cocaine 8kg 280g; hashis 1kg 200g; and controlled drugs 4360 tablets. This is a lot and an addition to what has been previous destroyed by the national drugs agency.

“These drugs were seized from our own brothers, sisters, uncles and relatives. What that means is that drugs are around us and it is our collective responsibility to remove them from our midst. Indeed, drugs continue to pose a serious threat in our society in a number of ways,” said the acting director general of DLEAG.

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 damages, 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 job 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 finding a grip on our society.

“Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol or morphine or idealism.”

Carl Jung