Pubdate: Fri, 25 Jun 2004
Source: Cameroon Tribune (Cameroon)
Contact:   (+237) 230.43.62
Author: Brenda Yufeh


Various dangers of drug abuse were examined yesterday in Yaounde
during a discussion.

Ahead of the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit
Trafficking, to be commemorated tomorrow, June 26, the Resident
Co-ordinator of the UN System in Cameroon, Patricia De Mowbray,
yesterday at the United Nations Information Centre in Yaounde chaired
discussions aimed at sensitising the population on key issues related
to drug abuse.

Participants were representatives from MINUDUC, NGOs, National Drug
Control Committee (NDCC), civil society and the judicial police.
During the event, there was a remarkable call to talk about drug abuse
at every time of the year and not only during the International Day
against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. Participants also saw the
need to educate the population on the need to avoid a hard "drug".
Some of the drugs are; alcohol, tobacco, certain traditional plants,
cocaine and its derivatives, cannabis or marijuana commonly known as

During discussions each representative gave a succinct presentation of
what its department is doing to sensitise and combat the use of drug.
The Permanent Secretary of NDCC, Dr. Ndembi Yembe, mentioned
government's efforts in fighting against drug trafficking following
signing of conventions with the UN against drug trafficking. Focus was
also made on drug abuse and adolescent health since statistics
indicated that 15 per cent of drug users are less than 20 years and 60
per cent of drug addicts are about 20 years. Hence, the need to
educate youths on the dangers of drugs not only in schools but also
through parental education and peer groups.

Commissioner Alemgue Aloysius in Yaounde stated that though drug abuse
is not yet alarming in Cameroon, there is need to curb it because
there is a direct link between drug and crime. Since most of those
involved in crimes have drug abuse records. He noted that the law on
narcotic, psychotropic substances are precursors and that the police
force carries out preventive and repressive control. He explained that
the police has often organised raids on drug peddlers.

Commissioner Alemgue stressed that the population should understand
that drug abuse is a community problem and that the police can only
succeed in its fight against drug abuse if the population and other
organisations join in the struggle.

The theme of this year International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit
Trafficking is, "Drugs: Treatment Works". It goes a long way to correct the
misconception, and convey the facts about drug abuse treatment, based on the
latest and most reliable evidence and research.
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