The Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) has advocated the establishment of Regional Rehabilitation Centres (REREH) across the country to facilitate the reintegration of drug addicts.

The Centres should be well equipped to provide effective clinical therapy, psychological and spiritual services to those addicted to narcotic drugs, leading to their early recovery and integration into society.

Addressing a press conference as part of activities to commemorate this year's World Drugs Day in Cape Coast on Tuesday, Mr Rees Oduro, the Deputy Central Regional Commander of NACOB explained that substance abuse in whatever form was destructive to the human body and inimical to the socio-economic progress of society.

"The importance of Drug Rehab Centres cannot be underestimated because drug addiction causes destructive effects on abusers and people around them," he noted.

The United Nations (UN) General Assembly resolution 42/112 of December 7, 1987, set 26 June as the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit drugs trafficking as an expression of its determination to strengthen action and cooperation to achieve the goal of an international society free of drug abuse.

Supported each year by individuals, communities and various organisations all over the world, this global observance aims to raise awareness of the major problems that illicit drugs pose to society.

Mr Oduro described the theme for this year's celebration "Listen First", which sought to inculcate in parents the traits of listening to children and youth, as appropriate.

The Deputy Regional Commander of NACOB admonished parents and guardians to have greater influence in helping their children grow happily and learn to cope well with difficult life situations.

"A strong bond between parents and children is based on listening to them and showing that they care".

This, he stated would increase the prevention of drug use and drug abuse as an effective investment in the well-being of children, youth, families and their communities.

Mr Oduro called on Ghanaians, particularly the youth to stay away from drugs and blamed the surge in social-vices to the misuse of hard drugs among the youth as the majority of them have become susceptible to immoral behaviour under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

Students were also advised to avoid drug abuse and if tempted, ponder over the repercussions such drugs might have on their health.

They must sidestep the use of unprescribed and illicit drug substances such as cannabis also known as "wee", cocaine, Tramadol among others, in order not to jeopardise their future.

As part of their mandate, he said NACOB also sought to address demand and supply reduction and to improve access to controlled medicines while preventing diversion.

"The Central Regional Command as part its mandate will continue to educate the public in schools, churches, Mosques, social gathering, marketplaces, lorry terminals and the media to alert them on the effects of the menace of drug abuse," he said.

He mentioned community norms favourable to drug abuse, poor family management and conflicts, parental permissiveness among others as risk factors that posed a great threat to the societies.

Mr Oduro emphasized that "drug abuse is an evil in society and disorientation among the youth" and called on all stakeholders to join the fight to rid the country of illicit drugs.