xxxxxxxxxxx of Saturday, 20 July 2019
The consumption of concoctions made from a mixture of 'TomTom' toffees crushed into energy drinks is the emerging trend of drug abuse among students, the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has said.
Mr Gorden Akurugu, Volta/Oti Regional Director of the Authority said the phenomenon was widespread among teenagers in the Junior and Senior High Schools, sedates them.
The Regional Director said this at Volta Regional Heads of Departments meeting in Ho.
He said another form of the use of the energy drink was combining it with Tramadol, which he said continued to enjoy patronage by some youth.
Mr Akurugu said between 200-400 milligrams of tramadol, which comes in 50 and 100mgs was usually dissolved in a bottle of energy drink and abused.
He said shisha, also known as waterpipe or hubble bubble smoking, believed to be laced with ‘weed’ and other substances is emerging as another trend.
Mr Akurugu said peddling of drugs in market places by women, was also on the ascendancy in the two regions.
He said the women, whose livelihood was dependent on that business, were also into the peddling of drugs of all classes, which posed public health concerns.
Mr Akurugu said FDA was tracking the activities of the suppliers of the drugs and liaising with relevant security agencies for their arrest and withdrawal of licenses by the Pharmacy Council.
On border operations, he said a total of 1,078 import permits were issued from 2018 to date, of which 94 per cent was food-related, while the remaining constituted cosmetic, household chemical and agro-products.
Mr Akurugu said 490 export permits, mainly registered food products were issued as well as 960 arrests or detention of drugs, were made, basically pharmaceuticals worth GHC 560, 290 within the same period.
He said operations of the Authority were hampered by unmanned and unapproved routes, the nuisance of drug peddlers and the complicity of commercial drivers aiding in the smuggling of illicit and sub-standard drugs, and called for support from all stakeholders.
Dr Archibald Y. Letsa, Volta Regional Minister said the concerns raised were momentous and requested for an emergency Regional Security Council dialogue to address the emerging issues in time.
He called on residents of the region, who are 15 years and above to troop to the mass registration designation centres to enrol for the Ghana Card slated to commence on July 22 to August 22, with the requisite documents, saying “its benefits are numerous.”
The Minister said the National Property Address and Tagging System, which takes-off simultaneously across the country from August 5, this year, would enumerate four million houses digitally to assist in rates collection, formalise and create a paperless economy in the future.