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Federal govt worries about pharmaceutical drug abuse among youths

Drug addiction is a chronic, often relapsing brain disease that causes compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences to the drug addict and those around them. Although it is true that for most people the initial decision to take drugs is voluntary, over time the changes in the brain caused by repeated drug abuse can impair a person’s self-control and ability to make sound decisions, and at the same time create an intense impulse to take drugs.

There has been an increase in the rate of death in recent times especially among the youths and reports has it that a large percentage of those who died had abused a drug or the other, for others it has not only been the case of drug abuse but the consumption of illicit drugs. This has indeed raised a lot of concern to individuals and the government as a whole.

19 Northern states of the federation were recently revealed to be under threat due to drug abuse. The report showed that over three million bottles of codeine syrup were consumed daily in Kano and Jigawa states.

It has been on the rise for a while. In 2015 for instance, over 2,205 people were arrested in North-West geo-political zone by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, over drug-related abuses.

The Upper Chamber has asked that the Federal Government collaborates with appropriate stakeholders including Pharmacists Council of Nigeria, NGOs, traditional rulers and others to generate an acceptable agenda to fight this menace specifically in the Northern part of Nigeria.

To curb this national threat, recently, the President of the Nigerian Senate Bukola Saraki expressed his concern on the rise of drug abuse in the country.  He emphasised that it was time for all of us to recognise this problem and address it in a sensible manner.

“Considering the socio-economic state of the country, this drug abuse issue that is often swept under the carpet must be brought to the forefront of our national dialogue before it is too late.

While drugs like cannabis and cocaine have affected many youths across the country, these days, codeine cough syrup and other prescription drugs have become ‘the new cancer’ that is ravaging women and girls specifically in the Northern part of the country.” He said.

He further explained that the Senate has initiated action on drug abuse by passing a resolution on the need to check the rising menace of pharmaceutical drug abuse among youths.

“Our resolution has called on the Federal Government to partner with stakeholders, traditional rulers, pharmacist councils and NGOs to create a framework for fighting prescription drug abuse.” He revealed, adding that “We have also mandated the Ministry of Health to provide drug rehabilitation centres for drug abuse victims that seek help.

Additionally, the Senate Motion urged NAFDAC to embark on a vigorous sensitization campaign on the dangers of drug abuse and steps on achieving a successful rehabilitation for people with the addiction.

“We have mandated our Committees on Drugs & Narcotics and Health to come up with a legislative framework to deal with the abuse of prescription and over-the-counter drugs and develop a Bill that adequately deals with the problem, and report back to the Senate in the next four weeks.” Bukola said.

For him, “As we move forward, knowing that there are many experts out there, we hope to continue to receive feedback from all relevant individuals and groups on how best to continue to tackle this issue.”

Kemi Ajumobi

The post Federal govt worries about pharmaceutical drug abuse among youths appeared first on BusinessDay : News you can trust.

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