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To complement the United Nation’s International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking for 2019, StartnowAfrica in conjunction with American Corner on Wednesday, 26th June, brought together students, youths and adults from different works of life to discuss the best way to curb drug abuse in Nigeria.
The event which was held at the American Corner at Sabo-Yaba, Lagos, brought important dignitaries who spoke passionately about the illicit use of drugs in the country.
The war against drug abuse in Nigeria have been a fight for ages in Nigeria but after the “Sweet Sweet Codine” documentary was released, the government led by President Muhammadu Buhari took a more offensive effort by first enacting a ban on the sales of codeine in the country.
Keynote speakers and important persons who made out time to see to the success of fight against drug abuse in Nigeria were Nnmadi Ezeigbo(CEO, Slot System, Limited); Hon. Jimi Benson (Rep, Ikorodu Federal Constituency) who was represented by Adebayo Oteju, Deputy D.G I CARE Foundation; Ope Wemi Jones (Former DGM, Access Bank PLC), Dr. Rotimi Ajibola – HOD Department of Banking and Finance, Yabatech; Lambert Nor, NDLEA Legal Practitioner; Oluwafemi Oyekan, Chairman Science Teachers Association of Nigeria, Lagos State Branch; Pharm. Joseph Orfega Iorwuese, NAFDAC Representative, Mc Mecoyo, Comedian (FRN) and many others.
Gbetu Tv was there to witness a new generation growing to follow the right path. Key questions asked and answered are:
Ope Wemi Jones (Former DGM, Access Bank PLC)
Who are those that take Drugs?
– Bus Drivers
– House Wives
Who are those responsible for the control of Drug Abuse?
– Community Leaders
– Religious Leaders
– World Leaders
– Fellow Youths
While Organizations are:
With this being answered the major Causes of Drug Abuse then boiled down to –
With no nonsense attitude, Chairman Science Teachers Association of Nigeria, Lagos State Branch, Oluwafemi Oyekan after commending the NDLEA for job well done, said experimenting with body is stupidity.
“Its stupidity to experiment with your body.” He goes further to say, experimenting with your body “Changes your thinking, your behavior and makes you look stupid.”
Oluwafemi while giving his lecture outlined four(4) stages of drug abuse, using the Psyco-active drugs, otherwise known as hard drugs as key example.
Stages of Drug Abuse
– Experimental stage
– Occasional/Social stage
– Regular Stage
– Addiction Stage
He said most cases of drug abuse starts in the home, therefore parents should take note. He told the young students that the best way not to indulge in drugs at all is learning ho to obey simple school rules and regulations as this will strengthen their obedience of bigger laws.
He concluded by saying, “Any drug that is not prescribed to you and you use it is considered Drug abuse.”
On if Cigarette should be considered as a Drug and can be abused, NDLEA Legal Practitioner, Lambert Nor while speaking with Gbetu Tv said smoking can be abused if not prescribed.
He says, “Smoking is a Drug Abuse because you are not using it for any medical reason, except if it is prescribed, if its a drug that is prescribed that you smoke, but so long as it is not a drug that is prescribed by a doctor, a qualified medical doctor after proper diagnosis is an abuse, so smoking is an abuse.”
“There are telltale signs, when you begin to see those signs begin to know that this child is beginning to mix with a group that he is not suppose to mix-up with. For instance you begin to see that your child begin to forget to comb his hair. Make it a habit to always search your children’s school bags, their rooms when they are not there, when they are not watching, you may discover some things.”
“For instance if you begin to see your child with Tomtom in his pocket always, you know he may be trying to hide the odour of something. If you see things like matchsticks or match-boxes or if you begin to see things like wrapping sheets, syringes, needles and so on.”
“Then watch their language, they may begin to speak some kind of language that you know this is street language that you know is street language, if its not normal, you begin to make further inquiries, so there are telltale signs.”
“You may begin to see blood-shot eyes, dark-lips, stretchmarks on the face, when they are not supposed to be there, you may begin to perceive odour, so there are so many ways to find out.
He concluded by saying, “But you have to be attentive, understanding and friendly with your child and you have to know who their friends are.”
Lack of moral education, bad movies and negative technology are the causes of drug abuse. – Dr. Rotimi Ajibola – HOD Department of Banking and Finance, Yabatech.
In the same vein, NAFDAC representative, Pharm. Joseph Orfega Iorwuese, while speaking on the main theme “Nigerian Cough Syrup Crisis“, said “drugs are not harmful until applied negatively”.
While speaking on the topic Pharm. Joseph pointed out ‘birthday celebrations as a major point where and when the abuse of drugs starts in a persons life.
He spoke on the popular situation where different alcohols are poured on the celebrant to celebrate his birthday. This act have been noticed even in Junior Secondary Schools accross the country.
Here are the Strategies on How to Live Drug Free in a Drug Filled Society as presented by Pharm. Joseph Orfega Iorwuese –
– Have a vison for you life
– Plan your life
– Mind your association
– Develop your ability to make decisions
– Have hope
– Get involved in recreational activities(music, dance, sports)
– Take responsibility for your actions
– Get involved in mentoring
– Have time to meditate
– Identify and manage Risk Factors for substance abuse.
Questions on Gbetu’s Mind
How effective is the National Drug Control Master Plan?
Why is the fight against drug abuse important?
Is there an agency created to help drug abuse patients or persons?
What time should education on drug abuse start?
How easy is it to report to NDLA?
Does one have any protection is found out?
How do you get someone out of drug abuse, especially when he is not willing?
Life is a fertile ground, what you sow is what you will reap. If you play with life, life will play with you but how you do it is your business.
You can be in a mad society and still be sane….
Drug is a medication and should be medically recommended any other is abuse..ADEGUN Samuel aka adelani(Photographer and an artist)