- Says Consequences Becoming Threatening Among Youths
- Govt Tasks Parent To Join Fight Against Menace
THE National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has revealed that consumption and use of illicit drugs especially by the youth is on the rise in the State of Osun.
According to the NDLEA, drug abuse is prevalent among the younger generation of people of the state, describing it as a menace.
The NDLEA said the consequences of consumption and use of illicit drugs is fast becoming a threat than anticipated among young people in the state.
Speaking with newsmen on Monday in Osogbo, State Commander of NDLEA, Nnadi Chidi, said the agency has consistently been wagging war against drug abuse, consumption, trading and plantation of illicit drugs in the state.
Chidi, who spoke on the 2023 International Day Against Drug Abuse, disclosed that the agency between June 2022 to June 2023 arrested 315 drug related offenders and seized a total of 4,776.38kg illicit drugs in the state.
The NDLEA boss stated that 3.3 hectares of Cannabis Sativa farm was also destroyed at Owena Area in Oriade Council area of the state during the period under review.
According to him, the 315 suspects made up of 279 males and 36 females.
He said: “A total of 315 suspects, comprising 279 males and 36 females were arrested for drug related offences while the illicit drugs seized weighed 4,776.38644kg.
“Seventy-five of the arrested suspects were counselled and reintegrated back to their families, while 70 suspects were successfully prosecuted and convicted.
“The seized drugs included; 4,735.033kg Cannabis Sativa, 7.909kg Diazepam, 4.896kg Tramadol, 0.40956grms Methamphetamine, 0.413grms Rophynol, 160grms Benazine, 12.713kg Skushies, 0.011grms Molly, 1.8kg Codeine and 47grms Cocaine.”
Chidi explained that the International Day Against Drug Abuse is marked on every June 26, stating that this year’s theme is “People First: Stop Stigma and Discrimination, Strengthen Prevention”.
He said based on this year’s theme, the focus is on the need to be unbiased and not judgmental about drug users and drug dependent individuals, so as to hasten their recovery and attain the goal of a drug free society.
“The society is thus charged to eschew stigmatisation of drug users, discriminating against them discourages users from seeking help and making recovery difficult and a burden to the individual, family and society at large.
“Amid global strategy to curtail the menace of drug abuse, cases have remained on a rise in recent years. Consequences of drugs are fast becoming more threatening than anticipated especially among young people in Osun State.
“The aim of 2023 campaign is to raise awareness about the importance of treating people who use drugs with respect and empathy, offering alternatives to punishment, prioritising prevention and leading with compassion,” Chidi said.
The NDLEA boss charged Nigerians to eschew stigmatisation of drug users, saying discriminating against them discourages users from seeking help and making recovery difficult, which becomes a burden to the individual, family and society at large.
He said the command has been actively engaging the public through its enlightenment and has recorded successes in its drug demand suppression advocacy, also known as (WADA – War Against Drug Abuse).
“The command, through the WADA campaign, carries out rallies at market places, sensitisation in schools, work places, religious houses and communities, with the aimed at educating the people about drug abuse and prevailing consequences.” he said.
He said NDLEA Headquarters in Abuja has established a drug abuse call centre to broaden access to treatment and rehabilitation.
The commander added that the public can reach the Agency to connect with counsellors and mental health professionals through its 24/7 helpline number 080010203040.
Govt Tasks Parent To Join Fight Against Drug Abuse
The State Government of Osun has tasked parents in the state to join the fight against drug abuse by offering parental cares.
According to the government, illicit use of drug will be put at barest minimum if the parents perform their duties and ensure that their children receive proper care and attention.
Director of Public Health in the State, Dr. Akeem Bello, stated this on Monday in an interview with OSUN DEFENDER to mark the 2023 World Day Against Drug Abuse.
Bello disclosed that drug abuse is prevalent among youths as a result of peer group influence, noting that when a young person is introduced to consumption of illicit drug by his colleague, it is always difficult to stop such person.
According to Bello, broken homes have not been helping the fight against drug abuse among the young people, saying that once father and mother are separated, it is always difficult to put the children under control.
Bello stated that if both father and mother live together in peace and harmony, it will reflect on their children as they will have parental care which will guide them against social vices.
He said: “Drug abuse is a misuse of drugs and consumption of illicit drugs. It is common among our youths because of peer influence. Peer influence is attached to the drug abuse, once they are introduced to the use of drugs, they are going to find it very difficult to stop it.
“Parents should be very careful and be willing to provide care for their children. They should look at the way their children behave; if there is any change in attitude, in the behavior of their children, they should know and take action instantly.
“When you have children that don’t stay with you, maybe they stay in the hostel, you have to be looking after them and make your children your friends, so that you can easily talk together and advise them on what to do.
“In majority of homes where there is disharmony; if the parents are fighting each other, there will be problem and the children will not be happy, and by the time they move outside and begin to stay with their friends, they may start doing drugs and it will affect them. So parents have lots of roles to play here.”