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Hard drugs: NGO sensitises youths on implications of abuse



An NGO, Adicare Rehabilitation Home (ARH), has attributed the increase in mental illness, depression and suicide cases among youths to abuse of hard drugs and over-dependence on intoxicating substances.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the NGO is on sensitisation and education programme on the dangers of youth involvement in drug abuse, causes and prevention of mental illness.

The sensitisation programme, carried out on Wednesday in Lagos, covered four secondary schools in four local government areas in District V of Lagos State, organised by the NGO in collaboration with other NGOs and the Lagos State Ministry Health and Education.

The Chief Executive Officer of ARH, Mrs Veronica Ezeh, said that communities, parents, teachers and guardians must take up the responsibility of mentoring youths in the right way.

Ezeh said that to check the acts of suicide, arson, violent crimes and violence against women in form of rape, there should be concerted efforts to stop youths from using hard drugs.

According to her, it is on record that the use of hard drugs is the number one cause of mental illness, suicide, arson, violent crimes, as well as violence against women worldwide.

The executive officer said that youths particularly secondary school students within the age bracket of 13 to 19 years remained the focus of the NGO, with emphasis on catch-them-young.

She noted that youths would be used as foot-soldiers in the campaign against drug abuse and trafficking.

“The sensitisation campaign, which is a train-the-trainers structured programme, is focused on educating secondary school students on the implications being involved in drug abuse, causes and prevention of mental illness.

“To that effect, 15 students have been selected from each of the schools to be trained so that they will return back to their various schools to train other students.

“Investigations reveal that most mental destitute on the street are caused by abuse of drugs; which youths are more vulnerable and we don’t want that to continue,” Ezeh said.

The Counsellor, Education District V, Agboju, Mrs Ekundayo Doyin, commended the NGO for the gesture and said the programme, which captured the right age bracket of youths, came at the right time.

Doyin said that at secondary school level, students had already known the different combinations of substances one could take to get intoxicated or be high.

According to her, majority of students who get involved in drug abuse do not know the implications of what they are doing, rather, they take it because their friends or peers are taking it.

“So, I think the programme is apt to educate the young ones on the dangers of drug abuse and possibly save the innocent drug victims who are lured into the act.

“Where a youth thinks using hard drugs could create an escape route from his or her immediate challenges; the challenges are still there when the effect of the hard drug clears off.

“While in most communities today, you see hard drug users coming together easily to become a network of friends, which promotes extremism and violent crimes in these rural communities.

“And most communities and institutions are not thinking along this direction; which portends danger for all in the near future if an urgent and concerted effort is not taken,’’ Doyin said.

The Convener, SpeakingFingers Network, Treasures Uchegbu, called for the implementation of the People Living with Disabilities (PWDs) law to make it effective.

Uchegbu said that implementation of the law became necessary in view of the challenges faced by the PWDs in the country.

According to her, without implementation, the PWDs law is like a ‘toothless bulldog’ which will make no impact.

Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/ Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu

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Lilian Okoro: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]

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