By Olimatou Coker
Drug Law Enforcement Agency of The Gambia last week finished a training of trainers on universal drug treatment curriculum.
Organised at a local hotel, it was designed to help provide a breakthrough towards efforts to addressing issues related to drug and substance abuse.
It is hoped that the training would help reduce the significant health, social and economic problems associated with substance use disorders by building international treatment capacity through training.
Tijan Bah, deputy director general, DLEAG, said the training provides unique opportunity to boost the capacity, professionalism and credentials of the treatment workplace in The Gambia on internationally recognised standards of best practices.
However, he said curbing the issue requires a balanced integrated multi sectoral approach between supply suppression and drug demand reduction.
“This means that the role of law enforcement personnel on the supply front as well as health care workers, social workers, civil society, media and the public is very important if we are to make meaningful gains.”
He said the youth “very vulnerable” and “highly affected” by this menace. The impact and burden of this menace on families, education, mental health, public health care system, the judiciary, the prisons cannot be over emphasised, he said.
Bah therefore challenged the selected participants to take the training seriously and stick committed to their common goal of ensuring that drugs are eradicated from communities, and provide effective and sustainable treatment services.
“The Gambia just like many other developing countries is highly challenged in terms of specialised drug treatment facilities and services as well as drug addiction specialists,” he noted.
The training was organised in partnership with the International Centre for Certification and Education (ICCE) Colombo Plan Drug Advisory Program (Dap) and The United States Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL).