Sixteen drug addicts at ‘Colombia’, a popular den for drug addicts in Kumasi, have willingly submitted themselves to undergo rehabilitation.
This follows an initiative by the Narcotics Control Commission (NaCOC), which seeks to help drug addicts to free themselves from the claws of drug abuse and addiction.
The drug addicts include a 19-year-old female.
They have since been successfully moved from ‘Colombia’ at Krofrom to the Frhab Ghana Charity Foundation for rehabilitation and reformation.
Officers of the Counselling Unit of NACOC in the Ashanti Region and the rehabilitation centre visited the area in anticipation of meeting the drug addicts, most of whom were desperate to quit the habit but needed some form of assistance.
When the team arrived at Krofrom, it took them barely an hour to locate Colombia, a three-story dilapidated building where the drug addicts had chosen to spend the rest of their lives, since they were no longer accepted in society.
The weak structure, the team observed, had been abandoned for decades, following some litigation between two families and had since been turned into a haven for the addicts.
The addicts, upon hearing of the presence of the personnel from NACOC, gathered at one of the rooms at the ground floor to welcome them.
One of them elected to lead the group in prayer before their engagement with the team.
Some reformed addicts among the NACOC team shared their experiences with them, stressing on the need to abstain from substance abuse, considering its dire repercussions on them, their families and the larger society.
The NACOC team afterwards provided packed meals and non-alcoholic beverages to the victims and after an hour of engagement, they willingly agreed to be conveyed to the rehabilitation centre, located on the outskirts of Kumasi.
The team, in anticipation of the numbers, had arranged for a van on standby in which they were transported.
The reformation process, all things being equal, is expected to last for two months, officials told the Daily Graphic team embedded with it.
The Ashanti Regional Director of NACOC, Mr Samuel Yeboah, appealed to corporate bodies to consider setting up rehabilitation centres or supporting existing ones to initiate separate treatment programmes, specifically for females and children.
He said the nine rehabilitation centres in the Ashanti Region run programmes for only male adults because most of the facilities did not have available treatment programmes for females and children who engaged in substance abuse.
Explaining the rationale for the voluntary rehabilitation programme for drug addicts, Mr Yeboah said NACOC had realised that the rate at which people, including females and children as early as age 11, were indulging in drug addiction was alarming.
Research conducted has shown that 70.5 per cent of people in active drug use, initiate substance use between the ages of 11 to 20 years, 20 per cent were within the ages of 21 to 30 years, and 9.3 per cent were within the ages of 31 years and above.
Data available shows a lot of teenagers were engaging in substance abuse, hence the need to implement such programmes to help tackle the menace.