NGO To Stakeholders: Investment In Drug Abuse Prevention, Treatment

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Stakeholders and government at all levels were on Wednesday urged to invest in prevention and treatment programmes to fight drug abuse in the Nigeria.

Vanguard Against Drug Abuse (VGADA), an NGO, made the call at a two-day training and sensitisation workshop to Drug Abuse Prevention, which it organised in partnership with Kogi NGOs Network (KONGONET) in Lokoja.

Dr. Hope Omeiza, National Coordinator, VGADA, who spoke at the workshop designed to commemorate the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking”, urged the Federal Government to see the issue of drug abuse as a public health problem and the template behind most of the crimes being perpetrated in the country.

Said Omeiza: “The government needs to invest more in prevention and treatment programmes which include, training, sensitisation, advocacy and policy formulation to end drug abuse.

“Government at all levels must ensure that treatment centres are available, prevention programmes on the way, and let people who are in drugs own up to the reality and be ready to change”.

The medical doctor advised those already involved in drug abuse to make decision of calling it quits and seek the right help.

He emphasised that one of the ways to effectively prevent drug abuse among the youth was by giving them self-confidence, strength, skills and abilities to say no to drugs.

He assured the participants of VGADA’s readiness to work together with all concerned to prevent drug abuse and the harm drugs could cause to families and society in general.

He urged participants to take the lead in protecting both Kogi and the country at large from drug abuse.

In his remarks during the workshop themed, “Addressing Drug Challenges In Health And Humanitarian Crises”, Mr. Abdulkadir Abdullahi, Kogi State Commander, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), said drug abuse remained a global menace that should be jointly tackled by all to curb its devastating effects.

Abdullahi, represented by Mustapha Haladu, Deputy Commander, Narcotics, NDLEA, explained that about 70 per cent to 75 per cent crimes committed globally was under the influence of drugs.

Noted he: “Wherever there is crime there is drug, and wherever there is drug there is crime.

“The need to prevent drug abuse particularly at the grassroots has become imperative because drug problem is not respecter of ages, races, genders or social status”.

On his part, Amb. Idris Muraina, Chairperson of KONGONET, said the workshop was to build capacities of the critical mass of people at the community level.

This, he said, was to provide necessary support and guide people to take them out of drug abuse.

He Noted that participants were NGOs, CSOs, Volunteers, Religious leaders, Musicians, who would help in carrying the campaign to the people to ensure we curb the issue of drug abuse in Kogi State.

Earlier, the team from VGADA led by Omeiza, paid an advocacy visit to Kogi Deputy Governor, Dr. Edward Onoja, who described the training and sensitisation for drug abuse prevention as a welcome development.

He emphasised that one could not take away substance abuse from lingering critical challenge on insecurity.

Onoja added that most happenings in the society today showed clearly the direct correlation among substance abuse, criminality and insecurity.

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