#Article (Archive)

The Scourge of Drugs

Dec 31, 2008, 6:16 AM

Of all the inflictions that can ruin a country, drug abuse has to count as a leading agent.

Drug abuse can wreak untold havoc on the individual, the family and the society at large. When one is trapped on drugs one is in effect trapped in vice and personal detioration. From general observation, one's health declines, first gradually and then at a rapid pace. At times the downward trend could be arrested and even reversed with the help of doctors and of the victim himself. But such improvements can only be realized when a doctor's assistance is sought on time. In many cases, regrettably, medical advice and assistance is sought too late when actually the patient had already become a chronic user, an addict. Then the condition propels a rapid downward trend developing the known ugly manifestations: aggression, lassitude, and ill-health (including mental health) being only some of the many ensuing symptoms. The situation then unfortunately takes a wider cycle of effect, on family, relatives, draining medical services and resources. In the final analysis the problem of one individual becomes the problem of everyone as individuals, families, society, all become adversely affected and national development becomes retarded as a consequence. What is worse, the drug user ends up usually as a drug pusher thus helping create an ever widening circle of worthless citizens.

Therefore the caution and alarm raised by the president of the Gambia Supreme Islamic Council is worthy of serious note.

The country should join hands in a strong way to police and arrest the use of drugs in our society. Incipient use should be nipped in the bud. Parents and schools should provide appropriate education and guidance to youths. The community should endeavour to provide alternative constructive ways of youths passing their time. Policing by the authorities and the community together, should be reinforced. The state should pass legislation strong enough to act as a deterrent. But whatever the method or the measure we adopt, the community should be in forefront and act swiftly and decisively.