By Aderogba George
Director-General, National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof Mojisola Adeyeye, has appealed to youths to shun drugs and substance abuse by cultivating positive attitudes towards enhancing Nigeria’s development.
The advice is contained in a statement by the agency’s media consultant, Mr Olusayo Akintola, on Sunday in Abuja.
The statement said Adeyeye stated this during the maiden Annual National Security Summit in Abuja with the theme “COVID-19, Drug Abuse, Mental Health: Implications to National Security”.
It stated that the country’s future was dependent on the nature and quality of youth that it produces and warned against illicit drug intake, stressing that it was a threat to mental health and national security.
The statement also indicated that children who grow under frustrating circumstances are likely to develop psychological problems and susceptible to dangerous habits.
According to the statement, conditions related to COVID-19 are known to have increased economic deprivation and feelings of social isolation, factors likely to contribute to increased drug use.
It disclosed that tackling the menace of national insecurity required a balanced approach touching on all aspects related to the complex relationship between lack of opportunities, drug abuse, mental health and others.
‘’Security today has gone beyond the notion of the physical safety and survival of a state from internal or external threats to include all the interlocking realms of economic self-reliance, social cohesion and political stability.
‘’Human development is about enlarging people’s choices to live a long and healthy life, to acquire knowledge and to have access to resources needed for a decent standard of living (UNDP, 1990:10).
“Human development has always followed security of lives and property, which was the reason why those who drafted our constitution made security the number one responsibility the State must discharge towards its citizens,” parts of the statement read.
It also said lack of opportunities, inequality, poverty, and mental health conditions were known factors that could push people into drug use.
It said the 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development affirms explicitly that there could be no sustainable development without peace and no peace without sustainable development.
It also warned against non-medical use of prescription drugs such as opioids and benzodiazepines and the use of amphetamines or new psychoactive substances with combination of drugs such as cocaine or heroin.
It stated that the 2018 survey on drug use revealed that the highest level of drug users fell within the age groups of 25 and 39 years and regretted that the age bracket was the productive ages of any country.
It said Cannabis was the most used drug, followed by opioids -which included tramadol and codeine adding that, 25 per cent of drug users were female approximately to 3.4 million of the population while 20 per cent of the drug users were dependents.
It added that people who inject drugs are among the most marginalised and disadvantaged drug users and they experience poor health outcomes with a greater chance of premature death and high rates of life-threatening infectious diseases. (NAN)