NNN: The National Drugs Control Agency (NDLEA) on Saturday tasked stakeholders to lead a campaign against drug abuse in the country.
NDLEA State Commander in Rivers, Dr. Ahmed Mamuda made the call during a ceremony marking the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking 2022 in Port Harcourt.
Mamuda said the 2022 celebration themed “Addressing the Challenges of Drugs in Health and Humanitarian Crises” focused on how to help vulnerable and drug-addicted people out of harm’s way.
He said the level of drug abuse and illicit trafficking in Nigeria had become worrying and required vain efforts by all groups in society to raise public awareness of the danger.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that this year’s event in the state was preceded by a week of activities organized by the agency in conjunction with the Right Mind Leader Network.
Other program partners were Ebus Pharmacy in Port Harcourt, Rivers State University Student Union Government and the Nigerian Association of Overseas Trained Pharmacists (NAFTRAPH).
The commander of Nacotics (CN) said: “We went to the mosque to preach about drug addiction. We also go to churches to do the same.
He said the agency was pursuing 145 drug suspects in the state and also seized 277.239 kg of different drugs, including cocaine, heroin, fatamines and cannabis sativa.
Mamuda urged young people in the state to avoid illicit drugs due to their health hazard, saying that as future leaders they should not allow drugs to destroy their brains or their health.
The guest Lecturer and consultant neuropsychiatrist at the University of Port Harcourt, Dr Nkporbu Kennedy, noted that the world has gone through turbulent times in health and humanitarian crisis such as COVID-19 and the food crisis.
He said that in turbulent times people found solace in drugs to momentarily forget their problems and added that indulgence often led to drug abuse.
“Some of them become addicted to these drugs without knowing the dangers,” he said.
He called on the government to strengthen the NDLEA and other drug law enforcement agencies to enable them reduce the use of illicit drugs in society.
“The government, civil society organizations and religious bodies should make the fight against drug abuse and illicit trafficking one of their priorities,” he said.
Edited by Abdul Fatai Obeta