Health experts partnering executives of No Business as Usual (NBU) Project in their week-long outreach on substance abuse have cautioned students of Antoa Senior High School against the use of Shisha.
Dr. Hilton Terry Kessie, a Physician Assistant disclosed at a meeting with the students that the rate at which Ghanaian youth especially ladies are using Shisha is very alarming in Ashanti region.
Shisha which is otherwise referred to as hookah is a single or multi-stemmed instrument for heating a vaporising and then smoking either tobacco, flavored tobacco or sometimes cannabis, hashish and in the most opium.
The smoke is passed through water basin-often glass-based before inhalation.
According to Dr. Kessie, the inhalation of tobacco vapour from Shisha is more dangerous than that of cigarette since users inhale wholely the smoke that emanstes from the pipe.
He explained that the amount of nicotine that enters the body through its usage is so much and therefore exposes the body to a lot of health risks.
On that score, he advised students to avoid it including other practices that amount to substance abuse.
He indicated in his address at the meeting which was held under the auspices of NBU Project that apart from drugs, most youth of today abuse substances including turpentine, supper glue, marijuana, petrol among others.
Dr. Kessie enlightened them on some health risks associated with substance abuse including liver damage, lung cancer, respiratory disorders, distortion of reproductive ability, foetal alcohol syndrome, hallucination etc.
He said in his statement that majority of substance abusers indulge in the act because of pressures of life which they can’t cope with.
He said it is therefore incumbent on the Guidance and Counseling Unit of Ghana Education Service to indentify such students or youth, interrogate them and find out their problem as a way of remedying the situation.
Another speaker at the event Dr. Maame Konadu (Senior Clinical Psychologist-Tafo Government Hospital) educated participants on types of substance abuse, why people abuse substances, stages of addiction and psychological effects.
She advised students to shun the act.
“Never go near it. It is very dangerous”, she admonished.
Training Coordinator for NBU Abdul Rahman Ashraf also underscored in his statement during the prologue stage of the meeting that considering how substance abuse is fast peaking, “a time will come when Ghana will loose effective labour force”.
He explained that human resources that will be available will not be useful because of the negative effect of substance abuse on the productive energy on job seekers.