Alcohol is a mind altering legal substance that is mostly used for recreational purposes. It is also used by some people for dealing with emotions, or even pouring and drinking hard liquor in some Ghanaian traditions.

When it comes to drugs, especially the narcotics, it includes illegal drugs like weed, cocaine, codeine, ecstasy, Oxycontin, etc. Legal drugs include alcohol and Valium (which is supposed a prescription only drug).

Mind Altering Substances

One aspect that makes all these substances mind altering drugs is that when they are taken they cause their victims to think and behave in a way they usually won’t do.

For instance, weed /cannabis and cocaine makes victims feel an unusual high, suddenly loving everything about nature, which is not normal. One main side effect of abusing weed and cannabis is total madness. Others take in pills like ecstasy and Oxycontin for the euphoria and sometimes to enhance sexual pleasure.

So far all I have mentioned above are illegal drugs that people still figure out ways to get them. When caught in possession of any of these illegal substances, the consequence is straight to jail.


Alcohol is a very popular yet legal drug available to all persons from the age of 18 years and above. There are different types of alcohol: local and foreign, spirits, and wines, etc. Examples of local drinks are palm wine, lacquer (alcohol mixed with weed), etc. Examples of foreign drinks are whiskey, vodka, bourbon, which are spirits, Irish cream, etc. Surprisingly all these alcoholic beverages are highly addictive. This means regular use will cause withdrawal symptoms including tremors when one tries to stop taking these drugs immediately.

Mostly alcohol begins with an experimental use, recreational use, regular use, and then the final addictive stage. Once someone becomes addicted to alcohol there are a few conditions that could help alcohol addiction: like having a detox, going through a therapeutic rehab program, and disassociating from old using friends and colleagues, as well as avoiding parties and programs where alcohol or drugs will be served. Alcohol affects work, relationships, mental health, and even friends who do not have the same problems.

Suddenly you get tapped or labeled as an alcoholic and that is what makes life and work difficult. We must bear in mind that Ghana has the worst rehab experience, especially the bigger rehabs in greater Accra. This is because the psychiatric nurses and counselors do not respect patients and mostly undermine them making them depressed throughout their 3 to 6 months stay. As a result all patients care about is getting out of the rehab only to relapse after they go home.

So as you can see, rehab in Ghana is not a good option. Now we are left with detox and dissociating with old using friends.

Alcohol does a lot of harm and shouldn’t be entertained at all. I remember a time I had a friend who handed his resignation letter to a reputable bank because he needed more time for himself. He regretted his actions later on and found a different work he is currently trying to keep and stay sober.

The End of Drug/ Alcohol Abuse

There are just 3 main end effects of drug abuse according to Narcotics and Alcoholics Anonymous: Jails, Institutions, and Death

Looking at these consequences why not try to stay sober to enjoy life. Even if you fall once or even 10 times, don’t let it define you. Move on like nothing happened and life goes on. Alcohol changes your way of thinking as that of a “fool”. Focus on your goals, education, work, companionship, starting a family, getting a house and car, etc.

This is the end of my blog. I believe you have learnt a lot and would put in much effort to stay sober, since it’s the only way you can focus and achieve your dreams.

By Jill Boafo