LDEA Battles Illicit Drugs Sale, Usage in Nimba

By Mafanta Kromah


A statement released by the Nimba County’s Detail of the Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency (LDEA) said the sale and consumption of illicit drugs are on the increase in Nimba County.

According to the statement, the Agency has arrested four individuals including three Nigerian nationals and one Liberian for allegedly involving in selling and distributing drugs

Speaking in an interview with female journalists on April 25, 2017 at the office of the Liberia LDEA in Ganta Nimba County,  County Commander Julius Kanubah said they were all found with huge grams of narcotic, heroin, cocaine, among others illicit drugs.

The alleged suspects include Olivar Nwankwo, Nigerian, 27, Kendrick Bee, a Liberian, Friday Ukwein a Nigerian, and George Good a Nigerian.

He also explained that 5,550 marijuana trees were discovered at Blueto Forest, allegedly planted by the Liberians.

According to National Institute on Drug and Abuse, Cocaine is an illicit drug that causes a short-life, intense high that is immediately followed by the contradictory-strong depression, nerviness and a desire for more of the drug. People who use it often don’t eat or sleep correctly. They can experience greatly increased heart rate, muscle spasms and convulsions. The drug can make people feel paranoid, annoyed, unreceptive and anxious.

Regardless of how much of the drug is used or how frequently, cocaine increases the risk that the user will experience a heart attack, stroke, seizure or respiratory (breathing) failure, any of which can result in sudden death.

The phrase “dope fiend” was originally coined many years ago to describe the negative side effects of constant cocaine use. As tolerance to the drug increases, it becomes necessary to take greater and greater quantities to get the same high. Prolonged daily use causes sleep deprivation and loss of appetite. A person can become psychotic and begin to experience hallucinations.

A person coming down from the drug causes depression in a way that that the person will do almost anything to get the drug, they can even commit murder and if he or she can’t get cocaine, the depression can get so intense it can drive the addict to suicide. Probably this is one of the reasons of the high rate of suicide on the continent.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, once heroin enters the brain, it is converted to morphine and binds rapidly to opioid receptors.

The report also reveals that the initial effects, users usually will be drowsy for several hours; mental function is clouded; heart function slows; and breathing is also severely slowed, sometimes enough to be life-threatening. Slowed breathing can also lead to coma and permanent brain damage.

Report also shows that the effects of narcotic stimulants and other depressant, which initially produce a feeling of euphoria that often is followed by drowsiness, nausea, and vomiting. Users also may experience constricted pupils, watery eyes, and itching.

The effects further include nausea and vomiting, abdominal distention and bloating, constipation, liver damage (especially prevalent in abuse of drugs that combine opiates with acetaminophen), brain damage due to hypoxia resulting from respiratory depression and development of tolerance and dependence.

However, according to UN statistics 37,000 people in Africa die annually from disease associated with the consumption of illegal drug. The UN also estimates there are 28million drug users in Africa of which Liberia is no exception.

The UN report at the same time stated that Africa is completely weak in terms of border control and the big drug cartels from Colombia and Latin America has chosen Africa as a way to reach Europe.

In addition the UN office on Drugs and Crimes noted that West African countries such Guinea Bissau, Liberia and other was becoming the target of these criminal institutions, which were taking advantage of the weaknesses of police and lack of money and resources to use these countries for transit proposes. “When you become a transit country, you are immediately also consumption countries,” said the Gilberto Gerra, the UN Chief of Drug Prevention and Health.

Meanwhile, the Ganta City Magistrate, Owens Freeman, has admitted receiving the alleged drugs traffickers but said they are undergoing trial. Edited By Fredrick P. W. Gaye