The Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) is holding a training on the formation of community coalitions in Ghana to prevent drug abuse at the local level.

The Coalition, an international membership organisation representing more than 5,000 community anti-drug coalitions in the United States and abroad, provides technical assistance and training as well as public policy education, advocacy and coalition-specific media strategies to combat drug abuse.

The two-day training, which is being organised in collaboration with the Philip Foundation, aims at building and strengthening the capacity of participants drawn from the La Nkwantanang-Madina Municipality to form their own Coalition to combat drug abuse within their communities.

Mr Franklin P. Anku, Municipal Chief Executive of the La Nkwantanang-Madina Assembly, said the issue of drug-abuse must be treated highly on the national agenda, particularly with the expected Supreme Court’s verdict on the election petition.

According to him, drug abuse had been the wheel on which young people had been driven into HIV infections, occultism and armed robbery among other social vices.

Besides, he said, the most violent situations were traced and even most road traffic accidents in the country to substance-abuses.

He cited some reasons for increased drug abuse in the communities as the availability of the substance through local cultivation, experimentation, peer pressure and ignorance about the efficacy of such drugs.

He noted that tackling drug abuse was a shared responsibility and required a multi-faceted approach with the active involvement of all stakeholders to arrest the situation.

Interestingly, he said, unlike in the past where people hid to administer the drugs, drug was now administered without fear, and their places of abode were easy to locate.

Mr Anku stressed that the problem of drug abuse among the youth in Ghana and especially within the La Nkwnatanang-Madina Municipality could therefore not be underestimated.

He thanked the organisers, pointing out that partnering a local NGO which had been working on drug demand reduction and other social issues in Ghana for more than 15 years, offered the best opportunity for CADCA to situate its projects within the context of local prevailing structures to ensure not only the success of building the coalition, but also for its sustainability.

Mr Eric Siervo, Manager of International Programme at CADCA, said it was believed that since the problem of substance abuse came from the communities, it was critical that they were empowered to find ways to solving them at that level.