How Does Law Enforcement in Different African Countries Handle Drug-Related Crime?

How Does Law Enforcement in Different African Countries Handle Drug-Related Crime?

Countries all over the world face one of the same battles: the battle against drug abuse. Many of these countries enforce strict drug policies but have not seen much improvement in drug crime rates over the past few decades. Corruption is a major culprit to the problem as well as a lack of accessible drug and alcohol abuse rehab treatment centres. Thankfully, there are changes being made in many countries' drug policies, including many African nations.

Why Is There a Drug Problem In Africa?

The presence of international trafficking organizations along with smaller-scale business drug rings continues to grow across Africa. This enlarged presence has cemented an assortment of localized markets in different African countries for various illegal drugs. Heroin and cocaine distribution, in particular, have skyrocketed, with some African countries experiencing drug abuse in every city. The distribution of marijuana has increased as well due to existing routes for the cocaine and heroin trade.

To combat the drug problem in Africa, many West African member states follow strict drug policies, but these policies vary greatly from one state to the next. Recently, these policies have come into question, with some states seeking more humane, evidence-based policy responses.

Corruption has always been a driving factor for the expanding presence of drug rings in Africa. This has made it difficult for some West African governments to put drug policies into place, but it hasn't stopped international institutions from placing heavy pressure on the governments to create anti-corruption organizations. The Independent Corrupt Practices Commission and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission created by Nigeria are both examples of anti-corruption entities that are used to combat drug crime.

Another way that law enforcement is handling drug crime in African countries is by following the policies outlined by the West African Commission on Drugs. There are also several European countries that have stepped up to help reduce African drug crime.

Examples of Drug Pentalites in African Countries

In Burkina Faso, drug offenders convicted of possession or use of drugs get two to five years in prison and/or a fine. The penalty in Cabo Verde is much different, with possession or use requiring only a three-month stint in prison and/or a fine. Ghana has much stricter sentences with offenders receiving at least five years in prison for use and 10 years if convicted of possession.

If you're caught in Africa for supplying, trafficking, or producing illegal drugs, you're going to receive a very harsh sentence. Nigeria gives life imprisonment as its only available sentence for any of these crimes. In The Gambia, you'll get a maximum of 15 years and you'll have to pay a fine. Ghana makes offenders serve a minimum of five years for supply and 10 years for production. Over in Guinea Bissau, offenders get up to 12 years in prison, and in Mali, convicted offenders get 15 to 30 years in prison along with a fine and the death penalty is a possible punishment as well.

Is Someone You Know Sniffing Coke?

The drug trade rings existing in African countries are major access points for cocaine, with much of the cocaine making its way into North American and South American countries. There's even a good chance that whether you know it or not, someone you know has sniffed coke that has travelled through African countries. If you know someone snorting coke, or if you have a problem with sniffing coke, it's crucial to understand that help is available. Most importantly, you must keep in mind that treatment comes in many forms. No matter your needs and preferences, there is help to stop abusing cocaine or other illicit substances. The smartest move any person addicted to coke can make is to look into different drug treatment options. Even working professionals can receive treatment along with other types of drug abuse services.

Thanks for reading along, you can check out more on alcohol withdrawal medication here.

Author Bio: Patrick Bailey is a professional writer mainly in the fields of mental health, addiction, and living in recovery. He attempts to stay on top of the latest news in the addiction and the mental health world and enjoys writing about these topics to break the stigma associated with them. 

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