Africans Need Drug Education Too

by: Mike Miller

Over the past few months you may have read a few blog entries I have written in an effort to expose the drug problems currently raging through Africa. For those of you who have missed them, and have an interest in just how severe Africa’s drug problem is I suggest you refer back to the blog.

The problem in Africa is not only use, of course it is trafficking too. Africa now occupies second position worldwide in the trafficking and consumption of illegal drugs. As reported in

According to UN statistics 37,000 people in Africa die annually from diseases associated with the consumption of illegal drugs. The UN estimates there are 28 million drug users in Africa, the figure for the United States and Canada is 32 million.

Worrying trend

The UN report confirms what my colleagues have been saying for years, namely that the rate of consumption of illegal drugs in Africa is on the rise. However, this is the farthest reaches of the Third World and records of drug consumption in Africa are incomplete.

Africa's rising illegal drug consumption can be attributed to political instability as well as porous borders. West Africa is completely weak in terms of border control and the big drug cartels from Colombia and Latin America have chosen Africa as a way to reach Europe. West African countries such as Guinea Bissau, Liberia and others were becoming the target of these criminal organizations, which were taking advantage of the weakness of police and the lack of money and resources to use these countries for transit purposes.

Youth most vulnerable

Of course with increased drug use and drug trade, the youth are the most susceptible, especially those who were unable to resist peer pressure and start experimenting with drugs.

I am happy to hear officials in West Africa say that the key to curbing this trend is to educate youth and the society at large about dangers of consuming drugs. Institutions frequented by youth like churches, mosques and universities should be actively involved in passing on this information.

I would hope to see some publicly supported drug education classes in the near future.