The Mental Health Authority (MHA), has cautioned the public against the use of shisha (a water pump tobacco), saying one puff of the substance is equal to 10 sticks of cigarettes, which is extremely fatal to health.
Commonly sold in pubs, beaches and training institutions, the MHA indicated that shisha smokers risked the same kind of infections as cigarette smokers such as heart disease, cancer, respiratory disease and problems during pregnancy.
“In reality, because only some of the nicotine is absorbed by water, shisha smokers are still exposed to enough nicotine to cause an addiction,” an educator of the Authority, Mr Emmanuel Aboagye Appiah, disclosed this at a public durbar on drug abuse held in Accra on Saturday.
Mr Appiah added that smoking shisha increases heart rate, blood pressure and carbon monoxide levels and could eventually lead to stroke.
He said tramadol has also undergone several changes with various concocted mixtures which include mixtures with energy drink, cough syrup and some unknown herbal tea.
According to the educator, significant manifestation of tramadol when abused includes hallucinations, drowsiness, weariness, nausea, agitation, diarrhoea, constipation and anxiety.
“We know glue to be an adhesive substance for sticking objects or materials together. Amazingly, as curious as human beings are, we have found a way to get high on even glue, and I’m using this platform to tell people that this is dangerous to health,” he cautioned.
The Chief Executive Officer of Cubic Promotions, Mr Ivan Bruce Cudjoe, said his outfit had observed the high rate of drugs abuse among the youth “and this forms part of our corporate social responsibilities to educate them.”
Mr Cudjoe added that the durbar, which would be held across the nation, was also a platform to meet athletes and educate them as well.
“We are therefore holding this grand durbar to educate the youth against drug abuse. There will also be narration of real life experiences from reformed hard drug addicts everywhere we mount such platforms,” he said.
Held under the theme, ‘Setting a national agenda to fight drug abuse and related vices,’ the event, organised by Cabic Promotions, an organisation that manages boxers, brought together a number of second cycle schools.
They include Accra Academy, Achimota School, St. Mary’s Senior High, Accra Girls Senior High, Odorgonno Senior High, Wesley Grammar Senior High, Accra Technical Training Centre, Oreilly Senior High, Presbyterian Senior High (Legon), Presbyterian Senior High (Nungua) and Nungua Technical High School.
Source: Ghanaian Times