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Stop criminalising, stigmatising drug abuse patients, Group urges Nigerians

3 months ago | 89


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AN NGO, Bensther Development Foundation (BDF), has urged Nigerians to stop criminalising and stigmatising drug abuse patients, saying that they rather need empathy and help.

The Executive Director of the foundation, Mr Nonso Maduka, made the call while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Enugu.

According to Maduka, drug abuse falls within public health issue and should be treated as such, adding that international best practices point in that direction.

He said that anybody with drug abuse cases should be seen as a public health issue who needed medical help and the support of everyone around him for his rehabilitation.

Maduka further stated that many of those suffering from drug abuse did not intentionally make themselves addicts, as some might have been exposed to the act through medical treatment or prescriptions that were not well- monitored or coordinated.

“I want Nigerians to begin to see drug abuse issue as a health issue.

“This will help remove the criminalisation and stigmatisation, as nobody using drug will realise at the initial stage that he/she might get addicted to it.

“Some people found themselves engaging in drug because of pressure, family issues or to enhance their performances.

“However, along the line, negative consequences of such drug caught up with them and they became addicted to it.

“When that happens, the fear of criminalisation and stigmatisation can make such people to be withdrawn, become anti-social and depressed.

“Also, drug abuse patient’s family can become scared to come out and discuss the problem, thus ending up encaging the sufferer and abandoning him/her,” he said.

According to the executive director, international best practices dictate that drug abuse sufferers have right to access treatment, medication and rehabilitation.

“With love, attention, the right medical treatment and psychological therapy, a drug addict can be fully rehabilitated and re-integrated back into the society,” he added. 

NAN

NOV. 03, 2021 @ 17:30 GMT |

Tags: #NGO

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