Concerns That Methamphetamine Addiction Could Destroy West African Communities

Methamphetamine addiction continues to be a major problem for many people around the world. It is a highly addictive drug and one that dealers make a lot of profit from. Individuals affected by this illness find it extremely difficult to kick, meaning that those who produce the drug know that, essentially, they have buyers for life.

The trouble with methamphetamine is that the ingredients used to make it are easily accessible. It is cheap to produce, and there are no climate restrictions on where it can be produced, unlike other illegal drugs such as heroin or cocaine. This means that drug dealers in all parts of the world can continue to manufacture this deadly substance with devastating consequences.

Dealers from areas where coca and opium do not grow have now found a substance they can mass produce to make huge profits. As a result, the drug will continue to appear in all corners of the world as the criminal underworld seek to make as much money as possible.

Vulnerable Victims

New reports are suggesting that some people in West Africa have realised the potential of becoming drug producers. With methamphetamine cheap and easy to make, they are mass producing the drug with the intent of smuggling it to places such as Asia.

The powerful nature of methamphetamine makes it incredibly addictive. It encourages the brain to release large amounts of dopamine (the brain’s feel-good chemical). It also restricts the body’s ability to reabsorb this chemical, meaning that the intense high lasts for many hours. Those who take methamphetamine can get hooked very quickly, and many find it impossible to quit, even if they want to.

Although it is easy and cheap to make methamphetamine, it is also highly dangerous, and deaths in meth labs are not uncommon. It is also a very dangerous drug in terms of the long-term physical and mental health problems associated with it.

Because it is so addictive, it is often peddled to vulnerable people in disadvantaged communities. Once individuals have become addicted to the drug, they will do almost anything to get their hands on it. This makes it highly profitable for the dealers and means these scrupulous persons have a constant supply of buyers. Dealers have been known to introduce methamphetamine to communities in third-world countries, resulting in chaos and devastation. It is, therefore, hardly surprising that methamphetamine addiction has become a major problem in many communities in West Africa.

West Africa Drugs Trade

West Africa has been playing a part in the global drugs trade for a long time because of the relaxed border controls in that region of the world and the fact that police do not put much emphasis on drug crimes. West Africa is favoured by traffickers who use it to move drugs from continent to continent with little worry about their products being seized. However, until recently, West Africans have themselves had very little to do with drug production and supply.

But methamphetamine is different and West African criminals can see the attraction and the potential for profit. They are now using the already established routes to move their products and are getting rich from producing meth. These criminals are supplying their product to Asia with huge profit margins. Typically, it costs them just $1,500 to make a kilo of meth, but they can sell what they have made in Tokyo for around $150,000. It is easy then to see why so many West Africans are starting to make their own crystal meth in the hopes of becoming rich. There are concerns thought that these criminals may begin to introduce meth to vulnerable communities, thus sparking drug problems of epidemic proportions. Methamphetamine addiction could quickly take hold of people in these disadvantaged communities.

The Attraction of West Africa for Meth Production

Because West Africa is full of isolated, rural areas, meth producers find the region an attractive place to set up. They would not have to worry about being monitored by authorities, and the existence of drugs routes means they can easily move it around.

The fact that until now West Africa has had very little drug addiction problems also means that the police are inexperienced when it comes to tackling drug crimes. West African meth producers quickly take advantage of this.

It is no surprise that the methamphetamine trade in West Africa is continuing to grow. For now, these producers are concentrating their efforts on producing the drug for sale outside of their own continent, but there is the worry that they will move their efforts closer to home and will introduce the drug to their own vulnerable people.

Authorities in Ghana have started taking steps to address the issue and are attempting to make changes to the way drugs-related crimes are dealt with. Nevertheless, this is something that will no doubt take a long time and much effort. Hopefully, West African authorities can take hold of the situation before methamphetamine addiction becomes an even bigger problem.


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