Ghana’s cocaine consumption unknown- NACOB

  Mr Torkornoo

Mr Torkornoo

The Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) has refuted a recent United Nations report that ranked Ghana 14th out of 115 countries worldwide in terms of cocaine consumption.

According to the Acting Executive Secretary of the Board, Mr Francis Kofi Torkornoo, the statistics used in the ranking by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime are old and did not present the true state of affairs.

Speaking at the opening of a seminar on the role of the media in tackling the illicit drug menace in Accra yesterday,  he said the statistics used to rank Ghana was compiled as far back as 1998.

The two day seminar is being attended by 20 broadcast and print journalists whose capacity would be built on issues of narcotics and how they can help the Board achieve its mandate.

The UN report which made waves in the Ghanaian media landscape last week ranked Albania on top with Columbia which is well known for cocaine production and distribution at 34.

Ghana being ahead of Colombia caused a stir in the country, raising various theories in the political arena.

Mr Torkornoo said though Ghana’s current consumption rate is unknown as no research had been conducted, the ranking was untrue.

 

He said every country was expected to furnish the UN with reports on cocaine but Ghana has for some time not presented any report.

He said that the quantity of cocaine that arrives in the country was far less than what was consumed and that the Board was working to reduce such transactions.

On drug use, Mr Torkornoo advocated the establishment of a national rehabilitation centre designated solely for the treatment of drug addiction.

According to him, the current situation where drug addicts are mixed up with other mental health patients at psychiatric hospitals due to the lack of a dedicated facility, is not the best.

He said treatment of drug addiction, aside initial detoxification, was basically a matter of counselling which differs from the treatment offered at the psychiatric hospitals.

The few private rehabilitation centres in the country, he said are being run by persons recovering from addiction themselves, based on their experience and not any scientific approach.

He said NACOB, as part of efforts to help counsel the addicts, has trained counsellors who visit drug addicts at the psychiatric hospitals and rehabilitation centres.

He said NACOB was collaborating with the Food and Drug Authority (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate the import of some addictive chemicals.

Ernestina Adjei Mensah of the Education Division of NACOB in a presentation, said efforts were being made to reduce drug supply and called on the media to support its educational campaigns.

Mr Solomon Eyo, Officer in Charge of Supply Reduction said the passage of the new bill that will elevate the board to a commission, would enable NACOB reduce the drug menace drastically.

BY JONATHAN DONKOR

 

 

 

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