He said drug abuse amongst the youth did not only affect the individual but also had an impact on the socio-economic development of the country and indicated the youth were the hope and aspiration of the development drive of the country.
He advised students to develop comprehensive career goals that would better prepare them for the job market adding, “Inefficient preparation of most graduate for the job market has ushered most of them into abusing drugs.”
Mr Akpalu was addressing a students’ empowerment summit in Tamale dubbed: the “Strategic Students Development Programme”.
It was organised by SOLNetwork Foundation in collaboration with Total Life Enhancement Centre, Ghana (TOLEC-GH) to build the capacity of students to take advantage of emerging employment, business and investment opportunities to minimise incidences of drug abuse amongst young graduates.
Mr Peter Mintir Amadu, Executive Director of TOLEC-GH, an advocacy and operational organisation advocating for mental health in the country, said there was a need for a more comprehensive approach towards addressing the rising incidences of drug abuse and mental health-related cases amongst the youth in the country.
He noted that most of the cases recorded were attributed to depression, idleness and unemployment, saying, “If the youth are engaged in productive ventures, they will not have the desire of abusing drugs, which will later deteriorate their health.”
He called on the government and other stakeholders to prioritise the provision of psychological services for drug addicts to facilitate their transformation saying “Before providing jobs and businesses for the victims, there is the need for them to get psychological services to enhance their productivity.”
Mr Amadu further called for the establishment of well-resourced rehabilitation centres to improve the delivery of psychological services to the victims.
Dr Arnold Mashud Abukari, Chief Executive Officer of Hyperlink Group, speaking on “Industrial Intelligence: How to survive as a graduate in a hybrid work environment”, said the working environment required more industrial skills, competence and intelligence, which would guarantee productivity.
He advised students to be innovative and improve upon their technological expertise to have a competitive advantage over their counterparts.
Mr Marvin Selassie Ackuayi, a level 200 Development in Education Studies student of UDS commended SOLNetwork Foundation and partners for the initiative saying it had broadened their expectations for the job market.