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Bull Narc. 1996;48(1-2):79-88.

Rapid assessment of drug abuse in Cameroon.

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Ministry of Public Health, Yaoundé, Cameroon.


The present paper describes a rapid assessment that was carried out in Cameroon from March to November 1994 and presents a summary of the findings and recommendations. It was the first rapid assessment study conducted by Cameroon in collaboration with the Economic Community of Central African States, with technical assistance from the World Health Organization and the support of the United Nations International Drug Control Programme. It was hoped that the study would help to fill gaps in the information available on drug abuser profiles, the types of drugs abused and the response of the community to drug abuse in Cameroon. In focus group discussions, key informant interviews and interviews with drug abusers, it was revealed that Cameroon was not only used by drug traffickers as a transit country, but was also a drug-consuming country. The drug consumers were both males and females from all age groups. The drugs consumed ranged from traditional drugs to imported cocaine and heroin. Cannabis was the most frequently consumed drug, followed by amphetamine-type tablets and a broad range of pharmaceuticals. Solvents were mainly consumed by street children in northern Cameroon. Local beer and gin also held a special place in society. In order to tackle the existing problems, programmes offering preventive education and alternative forms of recreation for youth were necessary, and national policies on demand and supply reduction should be harmonized.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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