NGO urges drug education in schools, collective fight against drug abuse

Posted by News Express | 29 June 2015 | 4,880 times

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Education planners across the country have been urged to imbibe drug education in the curricula of primary and secondary schools, even as the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in Ebonyi State disclosed that the Agency counselled and discharged 35 drug users while three drug dependent persons were being rehabilitated in the first half of 2015.

Speaking at a forum to mark this year’s United Nations International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in Ebonyi State over the weekend, Coordinator of Okposi Development Centre, Chief Magnus Eze, said the global war against illicit drugs would make significant impact if demand was drastically reduced, pointing out that this could be achieved by providing factual information on the negative socio-economic effects of substance abuse to bring about behavioural changes.

According to Chief Eze who is also founder of Mezie Okposi, a Non-governmental Organisation leading ethical revival in the state, “community support is extremely important to prevent, treat, rehabilitate and accept those addicted to substances. All hands must be on deck. Be a good role model and empower young people to deal with life challenges to stay away from substance abuse.

“We can achieve this by forming drug-free club in our schools and also making drug education part of the curricula of primary and secondary schools in Nigeria. Teenagers need to get the accurate and detailed information about substance use from a trusted and reliable adult – be it a parent or a teacher.”

Chief Eze further charged families, schools, civil society and faith-based organizations to do their part to rid their communities of drugs, while urging the Nigerian media to raise greater awareness about the dangers of narcotics.

The Commander of the NDLEA in Ebonyi State said that they arrested 85 suspects for drug related offences in the first half of the year, secured the conviction of 25 suspects and seized 55 kilogrammes of drugs from the suspects.

Aside being a major influencing factor for all forms of crimes and criminalities, the commander believed that youth’s involvement in drug abuse had brought about unprecedented breakdown in societal and family values, increase in school dropouts, low productivity and the spread of HIV and AIDS.

He enjoined parents and guardians whose children and wards were victims of drug abuse not to lose hope, instead, “such abusers and addicts should be brought to our office for the care, treatment and rehabilitation that they need.”

The state Commissioner of Police, Dikko Maigari, who was represented by Assistant Commissioner of Police Mathew Akinyosola cautioned Nigerian youth against involvement in drug abuse in view of its damaging effect on the body and the society.

He warned that the long arm of the law would always catch up with those involved in drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking.

Other speakers at the occasion were Bibian Okpoko, Comptroller of Prisons, Ebonyi State; and Richard Anichukwu, state coordinator, NAFDAC.

The theme of the celebration is: Let’s Develop Our Lives; Our Communities, Our Identities without Drugs.

•Photo shows, L-R; Representative of Ebonyi state Police Commissioner, ACP Mathew Akinyosola, Comptroller of Prisons, Mrs. Bibiana Okposo, NDLEA state Commander, Mr. Ralph Igwenagu and Coordinator of Okposi Development Centre, Chief Magnus Eze, during the commemoration of this year’s UN International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in Ebonyi State over the weekend.

Source: News Express

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