Group decry increasing rate of drug abuse among youth


An Enugu-based group, Society for the Improvement of Rural People (SIRP) have expressed dismay at the rising wave of drug abuse among the youth in the country.

The Program Manager of the organisation, Mrs. Evelyn Joseph, said this in Enugu on Friday at a two-day media training organised by the Society and funded by United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)

Speaking on the theme of the training: Response to Drugs and Related Organised Crimes in Nigeria; the SIRP Program Manager urged parents to create enough time for their children to monitor their activities.

She added that this would enable parents to prevent early traces of drug use among them to avoid escalating into drug abuse.

Joseph noted that West Africa, including Nigeria, remained a key transit point for drug trafficking, adding that, “in late 2017, Lagos Custom seized 115 tons of Tramadol.”

According to her, a survey conducted by National Bureau of Statistics and Centre for Research and Information in Substance Abuse showed that 14.3 million Nigerians aged 15 to 64 had used drugs.

“The survey further showed that 22.4 per cent of drug abusers are in the South West; 16.2 per cent in the South-South; 13.8 per cent in the South East, 13.2 per cent in the North East; 12.0 per cent in the North West and 10.4 per cent in the North Central.”

While noting that drug abusers could be treated and re-integrated back to the society, she said the organisation had adopted drug counseling to encourage and motivate abusers to reduce their drug use-related risks.

Joseph expressed regret that a lot of young ones were going into drug without knowing the effect of what they are going into.

Another facilitator and a social worker, Nnedi Ugwu, said that the training would go a long way in preventing the youths from abusing drugs.

Ugwu said that many drug abusers who are dependent found it difficult to come for counseling and treatment to avoid being stigmatised by members of the society.

The social worker urged members of the public not to stigmatise against drug abusers but should rather see them as individuals in dire need of help to enable them come out of their situation.

A social influencer, Clement Umoh, admitted that the training had helped him to have a better understanding on issue related to drug abuse, so as to discourage his social media followers from indulging in the act. (NAN)

– Mar. 21, 2020 @ 7:20 GMT |

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