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We note with considerable apprehension the apparent high number of young people around the world who are using illicit psychoactive substances. The widespread concern about the use and abuse of illicit drugs is evident as it affects health, educational and security in many countries across the world.

In 2010 alone, around 210 million people, youth inclusive, were predicted to take illicit substances at least once, causing drug-trafficking to be one of the largest criminal offence that brings in the most significant social impact to the communities.

We call for efficient strategic mechanisms to reduce the use of drugs and its associated harms amongst the younger population in our communities, particularly within the health education arena.

It is crucial that we understand the repercussions that both licit and illicit substances play in the lives of young people.

The fight against the illicit drug trade must not only be confined to the supply and demand, but start from cultivation which offer young people new opportunities to participate. We therefore need to design policies that concern not just the prevention of drug use among youth, but also youth involvement in the supply of drugs.

Research has shown that the west Africa coast has become a hub and safe haven for drug transit and trafficking, this have led to girls and otherwise conventional youth being involved in high numbers.

West Africa Youth Organisation (WA-YOUTH) therefore stresses that youth are the central actors and vehicle for change.

Any program to curb drug abuse and its trafficking must recognize that change starts with the involvement and participation of youth in the formulation and implementation of activities designed to wean and dislodge them from drug use and trafficking.

The youth perspectives of their participation in drug sale and trafficking remain essentially crucial inputs to the design of program strategies and techniques for any anti-drug programs.

Governments must Support security and community officials and institutions as key actors in the success and replication of any activity to curb drug use and it trade of drugs.

We call on Governments and drug enforcement agencies to note that, policies and programs must also recognize the central roles of the community in the war against drugs. The policies and programs developed should recognize the need for protection and support for youth drug users especially in relation to their health.
Get high on Life, not on drugs!



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