ACPN Calls on Nigerian Youths to Shun Drug Abuse

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Martins Ifijeh

The Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria has called on Nigerian youths to shun use of hard drugs if they must live to their full potentials in life.

Stating this in Lagos during the commemoration of the International Day Against Drug Abuse, the Chairman, Lagos State chapter of the association, Mrs. Abiola Paul-Ozieh said the use of cocaine, tramadol, codeine, dexamethasone, marijuana, and other types of mind altering substances have a far more negative effect than it seem on the surface.

She said, “many of those engaged in such practices will not only have their lives’ dreams cut short, they also become less contributory to the society. A man who is degraded due to hard drugs will of course be unable to add value to the society.

“Hard drugs cause a number of vices, including armed robbery, kidnapping, raping, prostitution, and even health challenges like madness. There is also a high risk of liver and kidney diseases, including cancer, and other terminal illnesses.

According to her, parents and members of the society should not stop creating awareness among their children and youths respectively on the dangers of drug abuse, adding that parents should monitor their children closely if they must effectively tackle drug use in them.

“We understand some of our youths now device various unconventional methods of addiction that are difficult to detect, including inhaling latrine smell, use of methylated spirits, and the likes, but some of the signs parents and the society should look out for are their behaviours, their reactions to scenarios, their eyes, lips, general coordination, how they smell, the way they talk, among others.”

She said the government also has a role to play by making sure these abused drugs are not sold over the counter or anyhow. “Sometimes when these youths approach a pharmacy for the drugs and they are rejected, they simply go to another shop (most often quacks) and buy them. So it’s becoming too easy to get these drugs. Codeine, tramadol, rehypnol, are becoming too easy for them to get. When people are not accessible to drugs, it will be easily controlled.

“In our health facilities, we focus more on curative health. Issues of drug abuse is preventive, and that is one area we should focus on, so that the vices and the ills associated with the habit will be nipped in the bud. Truth is a lot of people are dying everyday from drug use in Nigeria, but because we don’t have a good data system, so we do not know how many.”

She also called on the government and stakeholders to ensure the August 1st deadline for implementation of drug distribution in the country was effective.