AFRICA/TOGO - Ministry of Youth warns against drug use in schools

Friday, 10 November 2023

Lomé (Agenzia Fides) - The Togolese Ministry of Youth is sounding the alarm and deploring the increasing drug use among young people between 12 and 24 years old. Since the beginning of the year, the government has redoubled its efforts to combat the problem, incorporating real lessons into the school curriculum to sensitize young people against all forms of addiction. But it's not just about the use of cannabis and tramadol, a drug that has become a real scourge across Africa because it causes severe addiction among teenagers and young students in Togo. According to the Blue Cross Togo association, the educators are professional psychologists who primarily explain to students the dangers of the new synthetic drugs that are sold in various forms such as candies, sweets or pills. The teachers discuss the consequences that these drugs have and which lead to uncontrollable reactions in users. According to a report from an employee of the association, some of the students, even among teenagers, become addicted to synthetic drugs after the first dose: "We have often noticed altered moods," he said. Meanwhile, in the capital Lomé, the number of school dropouts among young people living in 18 poorer districts or suburbs continues to rise: the local authorities are trying to reintegrate these young people into society through experts who take to the streets to help to speak to those affected instead of using coercive measures, and it appears that this new "effect" leads to a 30% decrease in addictions. (AP) (Agenzia Fides, 10/11/2023)