You are here: HomeNews2008 02 28Article 139964

General News of Thursday, 28 February 2008

Source: GNA

Substance abuse on the rise

Accra, Feb. 28, GNA - Seventy per cent of people with longstanding drug use die before the age of 45, Dr Akwasi Osei, Director of the Accra Psychiatric Hospital disclosed in Accra on Thursday.

He said, "Substance abuse is one of the world's current major headaches and as Ghana prepares to be middle income by 2015, these problems assume greater importance."

Dr Osei made the remarks when he presented a paper on the topic; "Substance Abuse-Understanding its Dangers" at the monthly Health Talk organized by the Ghana Health Service.

He said out of 2,939 admissions to the Accra Psychiatric Hospital in 2007, 594 were drug related cases which was 20.2 per cent of all admissions with Cannabis and alcohol being the most abused drugs. In 2007, the age groups of 21 years to 40 years were in the majority of those admitted to the hospital for drug use. He said some of the social and economic effects of substance abuse were high crime wave, high accident rate, low productivity, unemployment, violence and other social vices as they were happening in the country today adding; "Ghana cannot afford to spend its oil money on treating avoidable conditions."

He noted that substance abuse can lead to cancers of the body, infertility in both men and women, low birth weight in children, hypertension and liver diseases Dr Osei said it was far easier to avoid the first drink or smoke than to avoid second and subsequent ones.

He advised the youth that, addiction was an almost sure way of cutting their education short or making their life not worth it.

Join our Newsletter