JTF moves to check drug abuse amongst military personnel in the Niger Delta

Posted by News Express | 3 September 2019 | 650 times

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•Operation Delta Safe operatives

The Joint Task Force (JTF) deployed to protect oil installations in the Niger Delta, Operation Delta Safe, on Monday urged personnel of various services under its command to steer clear of hard drugs.

The commander of the joint force, Rear Admitaral Akinjide Akinrinade, gave the charge in his opening remarks during the seminar on the dangers of drugs abuse amongst personnel of security agencies under at the JTF headquarters in Yenagoa.

He said that the military does not condone drugs abuse as it was a ‘Court Marshal Offence’ with stiff penalties under the military statues.

He said that drug abuse has become a global menace with adverse consequences on the mental and physical health of the populace as well as security consequences as most criminals find solace in substance abuse to gain courage to perpetrate their acts.

"Thus, nations of the world are painstakingly looking for solutions to this endless problem. Attempts to understand the nature of illicit drug abuse and addiction can be traced back to centuries; however, the search has been limited by the scientific theories available at any point.

“Dr Benjamin Rush, a founder of the first medical school in the United Stars and a signatory of the Declaration of Independence, a pioneer of US drug abuse research regretted the few scientific resources in the early days.

“Today, much has been done globally to curtail substance abuse. However, these have not yielded the desired results in Nigeria and other developing nationsnas thenactnjad been on the increase in recent times.

“Early this year, the President and Commander-in-Chief, Muhammadu Buhari, decried the rising problem of drug abuse and its associated consequences particularly as it affects national security and immediately inaugurated a Presidential Committee on drug abuse to find lasting solution to the menace,” Akinrinade said.

The JTF boss noted that following the presidential directive, the Chief of Defense Staff, Gen Gabriel Olonisakin, initiated a plan to discourage military personnel from substance abuse to ensure that they are in good health and sound mind to discharge their constitutional responsibility.

Speaking on the topic, ‘Drug Abuse amongst Military/Paramilitary: Implications on Health and Professional Responsibility’, Dr Chia Francis, a psychologist noted that the demands of military deployment often lead to the temptation to drugs abuse.

According Francis, an official of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLE), inability to sleep, need for alertness and combat expose military personnel to pressure to use drugs.

He noted that drug abuse and intake of substances alter the chemical and psychological functions of the body outside medical prescription and supervision.

He said that according to recent studies, drug abuse in Nigeria stands at 24.4 per cent amongst this from ages 15 and 64 higher than the global average of 5.6 percent in 2016.

He traced the stages to drug addiction from experimentation, occasional use, regular use, dependence and addiction stage adding that testing services were available to detect drug use while victims can be rehabilitated to lead normal lives.

More than 100 men and officers drawn from various components and units of the joint military force participated in the one day seminar.

Source: News Express

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