Vanguard Against Drug Abuse (VGADA), an NGO, has advised the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to institute a culture of participatory and inclusive approach to fighting drug abuse in the country.
The President of the group, Dr Hope Abraham, who disclosed this in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency on Friday in Abuja, said these impediments were militating against a drug free society.
He said that consumption of prohibited substances had become a serious challenge to the growth and development of the society, adding that curbing the menace was a collective responsibility.
According to him, involving the communities can help in tapping the resources available in addressing the menace of drugs among youths and children.
“VGADA can help to interact with communities in order to tap the resources we have.
“Examples of such resources are some of the healthcare centres we are in partnership with and also our counseling unit to help rescue those who are addicted already, among others across the country,” he said.
Abraham, however, urged NDLEA to collaborate with communities to ensure that the society was free of drugs and drug peddlers.
He assured that the organisation would support NDLEA with campaigns and more sensitisation programmes to ensure that the country was also free from any form of social vices.
He called on the state government and philanthropists to support the organisation in its quest to ensure that every one was well informed on the dangers of doing drugs.
He said that parents should monitor what their children and wards were doing in order to encourage them shun abuse of drugs because of the health challenge on them and the society.
“It is disheartening that children at tender age already have problem using drugs. There should be deliberate and sustained efforts at educating the younger generation on drug prevention,’’ Abraham said.
Edited by Ismail Abdulaziz
Drug abuse causes mental health problems, expert warns youths
Dr Oyedun Rotimi, a consultant psychiatrist at the Federal Teaching Hospital, Gombe, has warned youths against abusing drugs and substances, to forestall mental health problems.
Rotimi gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Gombe.
According to him, it is imperative to make youths understand the mental health implications of their action in abusing drugs.
He stated that the chronic use of drugs by youths could lead to short and long term changes in the brain, which could lead to mental health issues like memory loss, depression, anxiety and hallucination.
Rotimi said many youths did not know the adverse effects of prolonged drug abuse on their mental health.
“Many of the young people, especially women with mental illness, have the possibility of using cannabis.
“Because an inherited mental illness requires other factors to push it out, you may never have mental illness in life; but if you smoke cannabis, you find out that many of them develop mental illness,” he said.
According to him, many persons who are addicted to drug and substance over a long period of time are often diagnosed of mental disorder.
The medical practitioner said drugs like marijuana and cocaine could have negative effects on memory and learning.
Rotimi noted that many Nigerians never knew that alcohol was also considered as drugs and the prolonged in-take of it could lead to mental health problems like memory loss, damages to the brain and vision.
While calling for punitive government measures to limit access to illicit drugs, Rotimi advised parents to take responsibility for the upbringing of their children for the good of the society.
He urged relevant stakeholders to intensify campaigns on the negative impact of drugs and substance abuse on the mental health of people and their overall health.
Rotimi advised youths to desist from drug use and abuse in the interest of their mental health.
The medical doctor urged them to seek help for treatments from relevant government agencies and non-governmental organisations.
Edited By: Folorunso Poroye/Salif Atojoko (NAN)
Drug smugglers hide £1m worth of cocaine in UK face mask consignment
British customs officers have seized 14 kg of cocaine worth over one million pounds that smugglers had hidden in a consignment of face masks in the UK customs zone of the Channel Tunnel.
The cocaine, wrapped in 15 packages, was found in boxes full of face masks when a Polish-registered van bound for Britain was searched, the interior ministry said on Thursday.
Darren Herbert, the National Crime Agency’s operations manager for the port of Dover said a 34-year-old Polish man was arrested.
“This seizure is further evidence of the way criminal networks are attempting to exploit the coronavirus outbreak to their own ends.
“We are now investigating who was behind this attempt, but what is clear is that they have taken a substantial hit,’’ Herbert said.
At UK street prices, this haul might have raised more than 1 million pounds once adulterated and cut down, profit that they have now been denied.
Ian Hanson, Border Force regional director at Coquelles, France, said such a seizure showed the lengths to which smugglers were willing to go.
Europe’s cocaine market is worth more than 10 billion dollars (8.02 billion pound).
According to the latest UN drug data Global, cocaine production rose to 1,976 tonnes of 100 per cent pure in 2017, the largest ever reported.
Production, mostly in Latin America, has risen 50 per cent in the past decade.
Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye/Isaac Aregbesola (NAN)
Drug: NDLEA secures conviction of 28, screens 38 title holders in Kano
The National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) says it has secured the conviction of 28 drug peddlers in Kano state from January to date.
The Commander of the agency in the state, Abdul Ibrahim disclosed this in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency on Wednesday in Kano.
Ibrahim also said that during the period, no fewer than 38 traditional title holders from the Kano Emirate Council were screened to ensure that they were not drug addicts.
Giving the breakdown of arrests during the period under review, he said the command nabbed 203 suspects – 178 males and 25 females.
He explained that out of the number, 25 persons were standing trial in the Federal High Court.
“During the period, we also seized over two tons of exhibits which include 1,801kg of Cannabis Sativa, popularly known as Indian hemp.
“Following relentless efforts by our men, we also succeeded in seizing 200kg of psychotropic substances during the period.’’
He added that the agency had provided a brief intervention for 209 drug users in the state and another eight brought by their parents and guardians.
The NDLEA commander said that as part of the command’s efforts to reduce drug abuse in Kano, it had conducted an awareness campaign across 12 schools in the state.
On the issue of COVID-19, he said the command had discharged inmates with low profile cases and taken necessary measures to prevent the spread of the disease.
Edited By: Johnson Eyiangho/Maharazu Ahmed
COVID-19: Prices of hand sanitisers, face mask, chloroquine soar in Onitsha Drug Market
COVID-19: Prices of hand sanitisers, face mask, chloroquine soar in Onitsha Drug Market: Demand for face masks, hand sanitizers and Chloroquine have skyrocketed at the Onitsha Drug Market in Anambra, following reported cases of COVID-19 in some parts of the country.
In March 22, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) confirmed 30 cases, with two cases being discharged while no death recorded from COVID-19 in the country.
However, Nigeria News Agency reports that the surge in the demand for these commodities has led to a sudden hike in the prices of face masks, hand sanitizers and Chloroquine by over 110 per cent.
A survey conducted around the market on Monday, reveals that Chloroquine, which was previously used to mainly prevent and treat malaria and sells for N5, 000, now goes for N12, 000 per 1,000 tablets.
The price of face mask has increased from N10, 000 to N150, 000 per carton while hand sanitizers rose from N300 to N600 for foreign products and from N150 to N400 for local products.
Mr Chimezie Okpara, a dealer in the drug market said Chloroquine had hardly been sold in the market following its ban for treatment of malaria by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Nigerian Government.
“But with the coming of COVID-19 and the pronouncement that the drug could be used for clinical trials of patients who have contracted the disease, the price has gone so high in the market.
“The price went up from N5, 000 to N10, 000 for 1,000 tablets and we don’t know what the price may be later this week, especially when the product is not much in the market due to an earlier ban,” Okpara said.
He disclosed that face masks were earlier exported to China when the country closed down factories due to outbreak of the disease.
“However, the price later came down and later went up from N10,000 to N150, 000 when Nigeria started experiencing Coronavirus and the demand for it from all over the country suddenly increased,” he said.
Okpara added that the price of hand sanitizers rose because of the sensitization by government on its preventive efficacy.
“People are scrambling to get for their families now; although, local companies have began production.
“The foreign ones sell for N600 as against N300 while the local ones are now sold for N400 as against N150,” Okpara added.
Another drug trader, Okwudili Maduka, expressed worry over the panic buying of the products, even when it had not been proven that the drug could cure COVID-19.
Maduka ascribed the sudden surge for Chloroquine to a broadcast by President Donald Trump of the United States of America and Director-General of NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye that it could be used for clinical trials of COVID-19.
“The broadcast by Trump took place on Thursday last week and by Friday morning; it was something else in the market.
“People rushed to buy the medicine from distributors. As I am talking to you now, it is above N10, 000,” he quipped.
Edited By: Zainab Garba/ Maureen Atuonwu