Pubdate: Mon, 27 Jun 2005
Source: Cameroon Tribune (Cameroon)
Copyright: 2005 Cameroon Tribune
Author: Brenda Yufeh
Bookmark: (Youth)


The international day against drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking
was commemorated yesterday.

Activities to commemorate this years international day against drug
abuse and illicit drug trafficking took place last Friday in Yaounde
with a call for everybody to value his health by taking decisions
against the use of drug. The day was observed under the theme "Value
yourself, make a healthy choice".

The day was meant to celebrate the choice that millions of people have
made to live a healthy life and also to applaud the courage shown by
those who have stopped using drug. The 2005 anti-drug campaign targets
teenagers and young adults: a group that is particularly vulnerable to
drug abuse. Statistics during the ceremony indicated that in the
country, 15 per cent of drug users are 20 years old and 60 per cent of
drug addicts are also about 20 years old.

Speaking during the event, Dr Mbassa Daniel, a psychiatrist at the
Jamot Hospital in Yaounde said that from March 2002 to May 2005, about
75 cases of drug related illness have been received at the Jamot
psychiatric unit. Most of the patients are aged between 20 to 29
years. Dr Mbassa said that patients come to the unit not because they
want to stop using drug but because of complications from the use of
drugs. Some of these complications could be street or family violence,
heart diseases, respiratory problems, psychiatric disorder and lack of
self control. At the psychiatric unit of Jamot hospital, Dr Mbassa
noted that treatment is through psychotherapy.

Representing the Minister of Public Health, the Secretary General of
the Ministry, Professor Fru Angwafor III, said that the government is
doing everything to protect vulnerable groups of drug abuse. He urged
producers and sellers of illicit drugs to desist from the practice.
The government is also embarked on sensitising youths against the
consumption of drugs and to ensure that set down rules and regulations
are applied on drug traffickers.

Reports during the event indicated that Cameroon is no longer a
transit point for hard drugs. Consumption rate of these drugs is said
to be increasing in the country. Cannabis or marijuana which is
commonly known as "banga" is the most prominent and used drug in the
country. It comes mostly from the North West, South West and the West
provinces. The main message from the National Drug Control Committee
is that everybody should know about drugs to avoid them.
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