The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Lagos State Command will be organising a series of programmes for women and youth across Lagos on illicit drug abuse, prevention, treatment and care.
This is following the recent revelation by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Centre of Research and Information on substance abuse with Technical support from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime that an estimated 14.4 million individuals in Nigeria engaged in drug use/abuse
The revelation also highlighted that approximately 14.4 percent of the population, aged 15 to 65 are involved in drug abuse.
The programmes are going to be in series and across locations and are targeted at sensitising women and young people who are vulnerable to the menace of illicit drug use and abuse.
This is the initiative of the New State Commander, NDLEA Lagos State Command, CN Abubakar Liman Wali.
According to Asst. State Commander Media and Advocacy, NDLEA, Lagos, ACN, Mallum Musa, ”The first of the series of events planned is coming up on Friday, January 9, 2024, at Ilupeju area of Lagos. It was born out of the issues of drug abuse, which has rapidly become a significant public health concern in Lagos, particularly and Nigeria in general.
”The widespread prevalence of illicit drugs and substance abuse is causing detrimental effects on our society, resulting in mental disorders, addiction, loss of life, and numerous other hardships.
“The most commonly abused substances include alcohol, cannabis, cocaine, methamphetamine, tramadol, cough syrup with codeine and various local concoctions that have not yet been officially listed as controlled drugs or substances.
“Further analysis of the survey data reveals that approximately one in every seven Nigerians has used drugs within the past year. Additionally, it’s distressing to note that one out of every four drug users in Nigeria is a woman, and among the States, Lagos records the highest number of drug users.
”These drugs have an impact on feelings, perceptions, thoughts, processes, and behaviours. However, the specific effects can vary depending on the types of substances.
“Some of the substances slow down the work of the central nervous system while some speed up the work of the CNS. Others distort the sensory perceptions of the users and can have an impact on their mood and thinking.
“As a result, mood, thought and behaviour were all affected through the Central Nervous System and the brain.
”Misuse and abuse of those substances can lead to criminal and illegal behaviour, deficit in parental skills, child neglect, poverty, and other negative environmental influences. Other consequences include family disintegration, poor academic achievement, low job performance, and insecurities in our communities.
”Therefore, the family has a huge role to play in stemming the rate of drugs in Lagos and Nigeria as a whole. Our national development would greatly be impeded if our citizens were ravaged by the menace of illicit drugs and substance abuse. We are all aware that HEALTH is WEALTH.
”Health not only has direct impacts on human well-being but also is related to raising income levels through workers’ productivity, children’s education, savings and investments, as well as demographic structures.
“If the health of our nation is ravaged by drug use, we would not be able to actualize, realise, and maximise our potential. If our health is compromised by drugs, our ability to contribute to the economic and social well-being of our nation will remain a dream, thereby hampering our collective national development”.
SOURCE: The Sun