By: Aja Musu Bah-Daffeh
Drug Law Enforcement Agency, The Gambia (DLEAG) recently engaged Gambian youth on the use of illicit drugs and its impact in the society.
Public Relations Officer DLEAG, Mr Ousman Saidybah said due to lack of specialized drug rehabilitation and treatment facilities in The Gambia, , they are mostly engaged in preventive demand reduction initiatives and awareness creation programs.
Explaining the dangers of drugs, he said these are chemicals that affect the body and brain, noting that there are different drugs that have different effects. He said some effects of drugs include health consequences that are long-lasting and permanent.
He said: “They can even continue after a person has stopped taking the substance.”
He said in the month of September 2021, their office collaborated with Together Africa Gambia Organization (TAGO) in organizing a community outreach program in Brikama Jalanbang, adding that they also participated in the second edition of children and youth summer camp held at Kiang Manduar on the theme “building future leaders”.
Speaking on drug demand reduction, he said this involves prevention, treatment, care and harm reduction, and alternative livelihood or development initiatives using non-enforcement mechanisms.
“All these and several other similar activities are aimed at creating awareness and fostering public support in the crusade on drugs provided for in section 15 m & g respectively of the DCA 2003.” PRO Saidybah explained
He urged the Civil Society Organizations (CSO) and Community Based Organizations (CBO) and other relevant stakeholders to include issues relating to illicit drug abuse and trafficking in their programs and activities. He added the problem of drugs go beyond interdiction and legal processes.
He said they have engaged the youth on the dangers of illicit drug abuse and related activities. As an agency, he said they alone cannot wage war against drugs and as such they need the collective support of everyone.
“Drugs do not exist in isolation and the problem associated with it cannot be solved by one single entity. It requires a balanced integrated multi sectoral approach if we are to make meaningful gains in the crusade on drug abuse, illicit drug trafficking and related crimes.” He said.
DLEAG is the leading government security outfit responsible for regulating the use and possession of controlled drugs, prohibited drugs and precursors and for matters connected as provided for in the Drug Control Act 2003 Revised Laws of The Gambia. In fulfilling its mandate, the agency implemented a balanced integrated approach between supply suppression and drug demand reduction.