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March 5, 2024
You are currently viewing Stakeholders urge FG to declare state of  emergency  on drug abuse
stakeholders at conference on Drug addiction treatment and rehabilitation in Abuja

Stakeholders urge FG to declare state of emergency on drug abuse

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By Joshua Olomu

Health Experts and other stakeholders have  called on the Federal Government to  declare a state of emergency on drug abuse to effectively curb its growing threat in the country.

The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) reports that they made the call at  a conference on Drug Addiction Treatment and Rehabilitation on Friday in Abuja.

The conference, organised by White Rock Addiction Foundation, is with the theme “ Global Drug Challenges in the 21st Century: Addiction Treatment and Rehabilitation As Option.”

According to them, the growing trend of cases of use of illicit drugs, especially among  the youth, is a serious issue that should be addressed as a national threat.

Amb. Musa Tsoken,Director-General,Nigeria Young Diplomat Forum said: “ The  people that are very productive in ensuring that every nation in the world progresses are  the youth.

“However, when  the youth are addicted to  drugs they will be unproductive, therefore the country is not going to progress.

“So, a declaration of a kind of state of emergency on drugs addiction is very important.”

Also, Dr Bola Oyegbami, Country Representative, Platform for African Women in Smart Climate Agriculture (PAWISCA, said: “I am deeply worried   as a mother because the menace of drug abuse among youth is getting embarrassing.

“Our youths are being wasted as a result of this, so I will prefer the Federal Government  declare a state of emergency on this national health challenge.

“It  has gone bad that we now have it in the primary schools, secondary and even children sent to tertiary schools, so the situation needs emergency treatment.

“That is why we should encourage this foundation for a good job, and government at all levels should take this up because many children  lives are getting bad because of drugs.”

The General Secretary of the Foundation, Mr David Folaranmi, said “ It has  been said in many quarters  that the drug use crisis in Nigeria is a pandemic.

“According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime survey, we have a prevalence of about  23 percent which is almost the highest in the world of people who struggle with drug abuse.

“We need a holistic approach by  engaging  all stakeholders to create prevention methods by ensuring that the  family, religious  organisations, and the community  play intervention roles.

“However, there is still room for treatment, because no matter how much you try to prevent, there are still  people who fall prey to drug use, so do we throw them away?”

Folaranmi added that the foundation seeks to introduce effective evidence based treatment method for addiction to help reduce the number of people struggling with it.

He explained that besides treatment, there was the need for  effective  social re-integration mechanism for  drug abuse victims to ensure they become useful in society.

Earlier in his address, Dr  Olatunji Nasir, Chairman and CEO  of  White Rock Addiction Foundation,  said the organisation was a body of narcotic experts and other professionals within and outside Nigeria.

According to him, the foundation seeks to save lives through prevention, interventions , treatments and rehabilitation, recovery and re-integration of substance use disorder clients.

“We hope to be able to rehabilitate most of our youths, because these are  avoidable problems   if treatments are available.

“I am using the opportunity to call on families, communities, the  private and public sectors to actually come and help, give a helping hand to this project, and let us lift   our society off drugs ”he said.(NAN) (nannews.ng)

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Edited by Isaac Aregbesola

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