The Inquirer is a leading independent daily newspaper published in Liberia, based in Monrovia. It is privately owned with a "good reputation".

Comedian Kpakolo Preaches Anti-Drugs Message

John Saah Gbokolo, Jr who carries the stage name “Gbokolo Kpakolo” as a comedian is urging his colleagues, mainly young people, to desist from consuming harmful drugs.

He told this paper when walked into its offices Tuesday, July 4 in Monrovia that intake of illicit substances like kush, cocaine and marijuana among others is not a good habit for any young man or woman who means well for themselves including their households, families and community.

Citing himself as an example of someone who was once a drug addict but desisted few years ago and is still resisting the habit, Kpakolo said while on drugs, he got sick seriously to the extent that he saw death having been a survivor of tuberculosis as a result of the habit.

But at the TB Annex in Congo Town, he was treated and discharged and now he has become his own advisor and at the same time is an anti-drug campaigner to others while maintaining stable and good rapport with his family on a clean bill of health.

“Nobody can force you to do those things that your mind did not lead you to. Whatever you do whether good or bad, is your own heart desire. Those who are on drugs including myself before are cognizant because the act is from the heart or mind’s desire and to desist from it, is left with oneself desire,” the Comedy expressed.

He said he got attracted to the habit after he signed a comedy contract with Population Study International (PSI) and earned some money which instead using it wisely, he decided to engage into drugs but unfortunately, he got sick seriously and it was then that he realized that he has done the wrong thing.

According to a report, there are lots of r narcotic drugs on the local market including cannabis (marijuana), kush, cocaine, MDMA/ecstasy, GHB, hallucinogens, heroin, inhalants, ketamine, and methamphetamine.

Ecstasy tablets are supposedly made up of the primary ingredient Methylenedioxy Methamphetamine (MDMA), but as the ingredients required to make synthetic drugs are becoming more difficult to obtain, the formulation of pills marketed as ecstasy can vary greatly.

Methylamphetamine is a strong stimulant drug that comes as crystals, powder, wet paste and sometimes pills. ‘Ice’ and ‘crystal’ are names for methylamphetamine in its crystalline form. ‘Speed’, ‘go-ee’, ‘whiz’ and ‘meth’ are other names for methylamphetamine. All forms of methylamphetamine are illegal. 

For cocaine, or coke as it is commonly known, is a stimulant and has a similar effect to amphetamines like speed and ice, but produces a more intense effect and shorter ‘high’ depending upon dosage. Cocaine is a white crystalline powder with a bitter numbing taste. 

GHB is a drug commonly found in the dance scene and is sometimes referred to as liquid ecstasy due to its stimulating, euphoric and supposed aphrodisiac qualities.

Chemically, it is not related to MDMA at all. Mildly salty in flavour, yet colourless and odorless, it’s also used a date-rape drug – when mixed with alcohol, it can intoxicate quickly. 

 About heroin, is one of a group of drugs known as “opiates.” Other opiates include opium, morphine, codeine, pethidine, oxycodone, buprenorphine and methadone. Heroin and other opiates are depressants. Depressants do not necessarily make you feel depressed.

Rather, they slow down the activity of the central nervous system and messages going between the brain and the body. 

New psychoactive substances are chemicals that have been developed to have similar effects to illegal drugs like cannabis, cocaine and methamphetamine.

 There is a wide range of other drugs out there that are just as dangerous as the more commonly used ecstasy or marijuana. These drugs include depressants (such as sleeping pills), hallucinogens like LSD, ketamine or inhalants. While they are legal, alcohol and tobacco are also drugs that can have dangerous consequences if misused. 

 Illicit drugs refer to highly addictive and illegal substances such as heroin, marijuana, and meth. While the decision to use one of these drugs for the first time is usually a voluntary one, an unexpected addiction can make the decision to quit later significantly harder.

 Addiction to illicit drugs changes the way a person’s brain works, and consequently, the way they think and act. The beginning of an illicit substance abuse disorder is marked by physical dependence. This can be recognized by a tolerance to and withdrawal symptoms from the drug of abuse.

 Tolerance occurs when you need more of the substance to get the same effects as when you started. When tolerance is established, a person may experience withdrawal when they stop using the substance. Withdrawal symptoms are severe and can include heart palpitations and seizures, depending on the type of drug used.

The second part of an abuse disorder involves a psychological dependence on the substance. This is characterized by a subjective feeling that the user needs the drug to feel normal. There is often a desire to stop using the drug, as well as prioritization of its use over social and familial responsibilities.

While a person suffering from an illicit substance abuse disorder recognizes the negative consequences of their drug use, they feel unable to stop on their own. The best way to overcome a dependence on illicit drugs is treatment at an inpatient rehab center.

At an inpatient rehab center, mental health professionals work closely with recovering individuals to uncover the root cause of their substance abuse, such as any co-occurring mental health disorders. During rehab, patients learn healthy and productive coping methods that not only help them maintain sobriety but achieve a happier and more fulfilling life.

Illicit drugs represent the largest volume of criminal cases that are examined by forensic science laboratories. They can occur naturally, as with marijuana or cocaine; they can be prepared from naturally occurring substances, such as the case with heroin; or they can be totally synthetic, as is the case with amphetamines and most other prescription drugs.

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