The Officer-In-Charge and Commissioner of the Governance Commission with oversight on Public Sector Reform Mandate Area Madam Elizabeth Dorkin, has expressed serious concern about increase wave of substance abuse in the country. She alarmed the situation has reached crisis level as a result of decades abuse, particularly amongst the youth.
Speaking at the opening of a day-long dialogue on “Emerging Substance Abuse Crisis and its Effect on the Economy’’ organized by the Governance Commission in Monrovia recently, Commissioner Dorkin emphasized that illicit substance abuse poses health and security risk to the country and its people, noting that Liberia has become an attractive hub for illicit trans-regional drugs traffickers, who have found a loophole in the system, attacking the social fabric of the country.
She stressed the need to strengthen enforcement regime to stop illicit traders in order to protect young people and their future.
According to the O-I-C, Liberia’s public health law criminalizes trade of illicit drugs, but she called for more coherent policies on how abusers of the laws should be handled.
Due to the rapid increase in illicit drugs trade, the Governance Commission organized one day dialogue to get stakeholders’ views on how the trade could be halted, as it poses major public health and economic crisis in coming decades, while threatening Liberia’s peace and stability.
The GC’s initiative is strongly routed in its mandate to formulate policies and proffer recommendations that would lead to formulation of a National Road Map for stronger policy on curbing illicit drug trade, Commissioner Dorkin said, disclosing that trafficking in illicit drugs has deprived the Government of Liberia millions of dollars in revenue.
GC Commissioner for Political, Legal Reforms and Decentralization Mandate Area, George W. Howe, Jr. called on policymakers to label illicit substance trafficking non-bailable, warning that substance abuse is rapidly becoming controversial and problematic.
He described the situation as a global problem largely brought about by peer pressure among the youth, adding that mandate of the Commission compels it to raise such awareness and invite relevant institutions, opinion leaders and researchers to the table to dialogue on a way forward. Editing by Jonathan Browne