Friday, March 27, 2009

Drug Traffficking - A Threat to Ghana's Stability

Drug Trafficking – A Threat to Ghana’s Stability 27 March, 2009

A member of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) and Chairman of Hopeful Way Foundation, Dr. Joseph B. Asare, said that drug trafficking poses a serious threat to Ghana’s stability. He was speaking at the Government of Ghana-United Nations Office of Drugs and Crimes (UNODC) conference on “Ghana Against Drugs and Crimes”. Speaking on the topic “Ghana: From Trafficking to Consumption”, Dr. Asare warned that the growing drug trade was a threat to Ghana’s national security. He added that bribery and corruption associated with the drug trade could undermine the rule of law, threaten national security and make the country ungovernable.

Dr. Asare warned that gang warfare, money laundering and organised crime would escalate “if we do not put our heads together to stop or reduce this menace”. He asked that additional resources and the political will to be made available to combat the growing abuse of illegal drugs in Ghana.

Dr. Asare recently chaired a one-day gathering on Addiction and Recovery at Hopeful Way House in Oyarifa. At the meeting he said that “I commend Hopeful Way for organising this very important meeting with the main objective of introducing workers in the field of alcohol and substance abuse to their House, to get to know ourselves better and to facilitate the exchange of practical experiences. It has to be recognized and appreciated that strategies and interventions addressing alcohol misuse must be considered and implemented in ways that are sensitive to our cultural systems.”

In addition to the establishment of Hopeful Way House to provide a drug and alcohol free environment for recovering addicts, the Hopeful Way Foundation is also planning to develop outreach programmes to reach the youth on the dangers of drug and alcohol.

Dr. Asare will be a key resource person at a training course to be held from 20-24 April, 2009 sponsored by Hopeful Way Foundation and the Addictive Diseases Unit of Korle Bu Teaching Hospital. The course will be on addiction, recovery and counseling, and will place emphasis on reaching workers and young Ghanaians.
Prayer of An Alcoholic

My Lord, you know how hard I tried to break free from this habit that controls me. You know how hard I tried to resist this temptation, this momentary pleasure whose price I cannot afford to pay. I tried so hard my Lord, but I have failed you over and over and over again. Because every time my loneliness haunts me, every time my fears arouses panic within me, every time I’m hurt and confused and I don’t know what to do, every time I’m miserable deep inside and I need real help, I run to the bottle that has long been my sole friend and savior. I run to the bottle instead of running unto you.
How I wanted to run to you, but it seemed so much easier to reach for the bottle than to reach out my hand to you. It seemed so much easier to escape, to numb my senses as though I were already dead. It seemed so easier to pretend nothing’s wrong, to act out courage at times when I have so much fear within me. I thought that by trying to run away, I can forget my troubles. I thought that by numbing my senses, I can completely escape from the pain.
But O, how wrong was I indeed! For in exchange for brief moments of forgetfulness, my troubles return with twice the problems I already had. In exchange for brief moments of relief, I end up hurting myself more and those that I love so much. How can I even take back the curses I gave my children? The violence I’ve allowed my wife to suffer? How can I ever respect the man who has allowed himself to be enslaved for a few moments of illusion and relief? There is no real relief except that which comes from courageously facing one’s problems. There is no real salvation except that which come from a true change of heart.
Help me O Lord, that I may break free from this habit that enslaves me. Let me not exchange my royal heritage for a mere glass of wine. Save me from the monster I become whenever I fail to recognize the child of God that lives in me. Indeed, you have not given me a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power to overcome my troubles, of love to be responsible for the lives of those whom I touch, and of a sound mind filled with wisdom, capable of choosing the things of eternal worth over the things that will not last. It will not be an easy task, and I know that I will die for every cup of wine I will refuse with my thirsty flesh. But I dare to reclaim my soul O God. I dare to drink from the well of salvation from which I shall never thirst again.

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