World Pharmacists Day and need to curb drug abuse

This year’s world pharmacists day may have come and gone but it did make its mark. Executives and members of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), stakeholders from the field of medicine, regulatory bodies, students, civil societies, youths and others assembled at the event organised to mark the World Pharmacists Day in Ibadan on Tuesday to deliberate on a critical issue that is presently eating deep in the fabrics of the society.

World Pharmacists Day, 2018, was tagged ‘Pharmacists: Your medicine’s experts’. The Oyo State chapter of the PSN marked the occasion by setting wheels in motion to address the drug abuse menace that has generated a lot of discourse in recent times.

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Drug abuse in simple terms is a patterned use of a drug in which the user consumes the substance in amounts or with methods which are harmful to themselves or others. The issue of drug abuse is not limited to a particular geographical area or age group but it is more prevalent among young people.

The rate at which youths abuse drugs in our society today is so alarming to say the least. Nigeria used to be known as a transit nation for illicit drugs but unfortunately it has since moved to become a consuming nation. Youths they say are the leaders of tomorrow, sadly a sizeable proportion of youths are throwing away their future by indulging in drug abuse. Without a doubt a youth under the influence of drugs will find it hard to live to his or her full potential. Where does this leave us as a nation? Well, your guess is as good as mine.

Going by the foregoing, the drug abuse roundtable initiated by the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria couldn’t have come at a better time. The maiden edition of the meeting was indeed very revealing as stakeholders bore their mind on the issue.

The guest lecturer at the event and Director, Pharmaceutical Services at University College Hospital, Ibadan, Helen Oduntan noted that drug abuse is destructive and lamented that even prescription drugs are now being abused. She opined that the issue of drug abuse has now become a challenge to the practitioners.

The chairman of PSN (Oyo state chapter), Abiodun Ajibade admitted that the level of drug abuse in the society is causing the nation great havoc as addicts now pose a security threat to the people around them.

“For us at PSN, particularly the Oyo State chapter, we believe this is a clarion call to everyone. We must stamp out drug abuse in its entirety and that is why this programme is put in place to elicit reactions and interactions among key stakeholders,” he stated.

At the end of the maiden edition of the drug abuse round table, the following resolutions were made: drug abuse is destructive and real; more sensitization by the appropriate authorities on the dangers of drug abuse should be heightened; government should put in place adequate legislations to bring drug abuse to its lowest point; drugs should be handled and use in a manner it was prescribed. Access to drugs should be restricted to only the legally recognised and registered premises who are under continuous regulation as to ensure proper handling of all kinds of drugs intended for treatment/management of disease conditions.

  • Cletus Ilobanafor, Ibadan

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